It now appears that Ural Airlines is preparing to fly an Airbus A320 out of the field where its crew landed it, during a recent emergency.
We covered this accident shortly after it happened, on Tuesday the 12th of September. Ural Airlines flight U6-1383 should have landed in Omsk (UNOO), having departed from Sochi (URSS) in Russia.
Initially, the information we had was that the flight went around during its final approach into Omsk, because of a hydraulic issue. It now seems that this was inaccurate. The airline and Russian authorities now say that the crew abandoned their approach because of bad weather in Omsk.
Then, the green hydraulic system failed when the pilots retracted their landing gear, AFTER going around. But this still doesn’t explain how the Ural Airlines A320 ended up in a field. However, it appears that the landing gear didn’t retract fully, and/or that the gear doors remained open.
Ural Airlines A320 Makes It To A Field
What the flight crew knew was that their nose gear doors were open. But they still believed that they had enough fuel to make it to Novosibirsk (UNNT), 320 nautical miles east of Omsk. The flight’s captain later stated that they should have had 1,200 kg of fuel remaining after landing.
The Ural A320 crew started looking for a field immediately when they saw their fuel situation deteriorating rapidly. It is still not clear how the aircraft’s fuel status surprised them. But the Ural crew still had fuel in their A320 when they selected a field and landed.
They had five minutes or approximately 200 kg of fuel remaining after landing, according to the airline. There was minimal damage to the aircraft. And Aviation Herald now reports that Ural Airlines seems to be preparing its A320 for takeoff, out of the field.
The airline’s crew has cleaned the aircraft, they have removed or stowed its emergency slides, and serviced its engines. The Ural crew also had to dig the landing gear of the A320 out of the trenches it opened in the field.
It is not clear if the airline intends for the plane to take off from the field itself, or a nearby road. However, there don’t seem to be any wide roads nearby. The closest airport appears to be Novosibirsk, just under 100 nautical miles away.
As we mentioned previously, this A320 is not the first Ural aircraft whose crew had to land in a field. The previous such incident happened in 2019, involving an Airbus A321. That aircraft flew into birds during its takeoff rotation.
But that A321 didn’t fly out of the cornfield that its captain landed it in. Instead, ground crews broke it down for scrap, where it stood. Now, the apparent intention of Ural Airlines to get its A320 out of that field probably says something about the limited options that Russian airlines have today, regarding the sourcing of aircraft.
Before Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine, this Airbus A320 belonged to lessor SMBC Aviation Capital. It was one of hundreds of airliners that Russia effectively stole, refusing to return them to their owners. Purchasing more Western aircraft, from legitimate sources, seems quite unlikely at the moment.
Source: Aviation Herald