MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian pilot who managed to smoothly land his disabled plane in a corn field after birds hit both engines says a quick landing was his only chance and he was not afraid of handling it.
Damir Yusupov, 41 said when one of the plane’s engines shut down he hoped to circle the airport and land normally, but then second engine cut off moments later, leaving him no choice. He landed his A321 so smoothly that just one of the 233 people on board was hospitalized.
Yusupov’s feat Thursday drew comparisons to the 2009 “miracle on the Hudson,” when Capt. Chesley Sullenberger safely ditched his plane in New York’s Hudson River after a bird strike disabled its engines.
Yusupov told reporters Friday he “saw a corn field ahead and hoped to make a reasonably soft landing.”