A321 crew commander on emergency landing, “I don’t feel a hero”
He had to land the Airbus in the field due to the failure of two engines.
Crew Commander Damir Yusupov made the decision about the emergency landing of the Airbus A321 in a field in the Ramensky district, Moscow region, after the second engine failed. The engine power was not enough to maintain the gained altitude, let alone continue the flight. Yusupov gave an interview to the Russia 1 television channel.
“Initially, it was decided to turn around and land the plane, but when we saw that the second engine also failed <...> I took the decision to land the plane only forwards,” Yusupov said.
According to the pilot, they were landing the plane without the landing gear, otherwise, the A321 could just roll over. When asked by journalists whether he feels a hero, Yusupov said no and added that both he and his co-pilot had been trained accordingly. “We were ready for that morally and professionally,” Yusupov said.
The flight lasted for about three minutes, Yusupov believes. There was something wrong with the left engine almost immediately after takeoff. The pilots decided to return to Zhukovsky, however, the plane did not respond well and lost altitude. Then the right engine failed. “If we had made attempts to return (to the airport of departure), I don’t know how that would have ended,” Yusupov said.
The Moscow-Simferopol flight made an emergency landing in a field near Moscow on the morning of August 15. 74 people asked for medical help, one remained in the hospital. The Investigative Committee opened an investigation.