UTair ATR 72 Collides With Small Plane At Surgut Airport

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A UTair ATR 72 has collided with a small aircraft at Surgut Airport after issues with its braking system. The ATR was reportedly undergoing maintenance and had its engine running when it began moving and collided with a nearby Yakovlev Yak-40. There were no crew or passengers in either aircraft and no one was hurt during the incident.

UTair ATR 72
The incident occurred when the ATR 72 was at Surgut Airport in Russia. Photo: Gleb Osokin via Wikimedia Commons

Rolling

According to Ria.ru, the incident occurred on the evening of April 1st at Surgut Airport. The UTair ATR 72 was undergoing maintenance at the airport at this time, with its engines on.

The Ural Investigative Directorate for Transport report states that the aircraft suffered a breakdown of the braking system and then began spontaneously moving, colliding with a nearby aircraft.

The other aircraft was a Yakovlev Yak-40, a regional trijet produced from 1967 to 1981. Reports suggest the plane belonged to the charter operator Skol Airlines. While the ATR 72 suffered some mechanical damage, the Yak-40 saw its nose crushed by the impact. The turboprop was left wedged under the Yak’s wing, with the engine hitting the nose.

The incident is currently under investigation by the authorities and will report back soon. It’s extremely rare for aircraft to roll away, given the advanced systems onboard. However, bizarre incidents do occur from time to time.

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The plane

The aircraft involved in this collision is a UTair ATR 72, registered VQ-BLJ. According to Planespotters.net, the plane was delivered new to UTAir in August 2011 and is currently under 10 years old. The airline operates a fleet of 15 ATR 72s, all of which seat 68 to 70 passengers in an all-economy layout.

As mentioned earlier, the aircraft was undergoing maintenance checks during the incident. While it is common to conduct engine checks during such procedures, it is rare for there to be no pilots or experts in the aircraft at such a time. Leaving the engines on and exiting the aircraft without a controlled environment seems like a dangerous decision.

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UTair ATR 72
The aircraft involved in the incident was a 10-year-old ATR 72, pictured here. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons

Thankfully there were no passengers on either aircraft at the time of the incident and no one was injured. In a statement about the circumstance, the Prosecutors office said,

“On April 1, in the evening at the airport of Surgut, during the maintenance of the aircraft, the ATR-72 aircraft, which was with its engines running, suffered a breakdown of the braking system. As a result, a collision was made on the Yak-40 aircraft that was parked.”

UTair

UTair is a major Russian carrier operating out of the Khanty-Mansiysk Airport. The airline is the largest operator of ATRs in the country and operates a mixed fleet of Boeing 737s and 767s, with 56 aircraft in total. The Khanty-Mansiysk region is the major oil hub for Russia and globally, making it a lucrative market for the airline.

UTair plans to modernize its fleet with 30 new Boeing 737 MAX 8, although deliveries have been delayed for now.

What do you think about the incident? Have you flown with UTair before? Let us know in the comments! 

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