Hero pilot carrying 226 tourists lands in cornfield after plane collided with flock of birds

A Russian pilot has saved the lives of 226 people after being forced to make an emergency landing in a field near Moscow.

The crash landing happened just outside one of Moscow’s busiest airports on Thursday morning after the jet collided with a flock of birds.

At least 23 people, including five children, were injured but there were no fatalities among the 226 passengers crew of seven - Russian authorities said.

The Ural Airlines A321 hit the birds as it took off from Zhukovsky airport en route for Simferopol in Crimea.

The Ural Airlines Airbus 321 passenger plane came to rest in a field near the airport after a dramatic emergency landing. (Reuters)
All 226 passengers and crew were reported to have evacuated the Russian aircraft. (Reuters)

The airline said the birds got into both of the plane’s engines, causing a malfunction.

The pilot then made an emergency landing in a cornfield about half a mile from the airport.


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Passengers on board the aircraft reported seeing “a flash and then a smell of smoke” after the plane struck a flock of birds.

After the successful evacuation, Ural Airlines praised the crew for their professionalism.

Rescuers, passengers and crew stand in the field after being evacuated from the jet. (Reuters)

Footage from the scene showed the flight commander directing passengers to walk away from the plane across the cornfield.

Reports said there were 16 tons of fuel on board the plane when it took off just minutes earlier.

Ural Airlines named the pilot as 41-year-old Damir Yusupov shortly after the incident on Thursday.

According to the Sun, Yusupov only learned to fly at the age of 32, but had around 2,000 hours flying experience.

In May, at least 41 people on board a Russian Aeroflot SU1492 jet were killed after the aircraft crash-landed at a Moscow airport on Sunday, bursting into flames on impact.

And in June, two passengers were killed on a Angara Airlines flight in Siberia after it overshot the runway and burst into flames.

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