Ural Airlines Airbus A321 Crashes Into Cornfield After Birdstrike

An Airbus A321 belonging to Ural Airlines has crashed into a cornfield in Russia. Reports suggest that both engines failed following a dual birdstrike experienced by the aircraft. At present, it is believed there are no fatalities involved.

Ural Airlines, Airbus A321, Crash
This Ural Airlines Airbus A321 crashed into a cornfield earlier today. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia

Dual engine failures are incredibly rare, however, when they do happen, the aircraft involved becomes a giant glider. When the incidents occur during takeoff, there is no time to try and restart an engine, thus the focus becomes landing the aircraft safely. Most famously, this saw Captain Chesley Sullenberger ditching an Airbus A320 in the river Hudson after losing both engines in a similar birdstrike.

Moscow to Simferopol

Today’s Ural Airlines flight was due to fly from Moscow in Russia to Simferopol in Crimea. The flight, U6-178, was today due to depart from Moscow’s Zhukovsky airport at 06:10. Following a 2-hour 25-minute flight, it was due to arrive in Simferopol at 08:35 in the morning.

Ural Airlines, Airbus A321, Crash
The aircraft’s intended flight path. Image: GCMaps

However, this morning, the aircraft made it no further than a cornfield just off of the end of the runway. The Av Herald reports that the field was 2.77 nautical miles past the end of the runway, and the aircraft crash-landed with its gear up.

Ural Airlines, Airbus A321, Crash
The aircraft crashed into a cornfield shortly after takeoff. Image: FlightRadar24.com

Everybody safely evacuated

Everybody was safely evacuated from the aircraft, according to reports. There were 227 passengers and six crew on board. This included six children. Of these aircraft occupants, only ten were injured, three of those children.

The occupants of the aircraft were evacuated using the emergency escape slides. It has additionally been reported that the aircraft has sustained substantial damage. Those needing medical attention were taken to hospital, while others were bussed back to the airport of origin.

Potential engine fire?

According to the Russian Ministry of Transport, the cause of the cornfield landing was a “failure of the right-hand engine, that caught fire following a bird strike”. However, it has been reported that the flight crew mentioned that the left engine failed first, then the right engine.

Additionally, it has been reported that when rescuers arrived on the scene, the right engine was smoking, but not alight. Rescue crews sprayed the engines to cool them while double-checking the cabin for any passengers.

Thankfully everybody was safely evacuated in this instance, something which unfortunately did not happen in another Moscow accident earlier in the year. Footage shared on social media does, unfortunately, show that some passengers stopped to retrieve their personal belongings while evacuating the aircraft. This is something which has been noted in several recent evacuations and can hamper people attempting to safely leave the aircraft.

What do you make of the accident? Were you on board the flight? Let us know in the comments.