A plane carrying 200 people was flown by heroes pilots over Siberia. It plunged into a quick dive immediately after it took off.
After taking off from Magdan, an eastern Russian airport, the S7 plane encountered problems. The autopilot was disconnected and there were onboard electronics issues. Five minutes later the fuselage became iced.
Although the Captain made a Mayday Call, however the pilots couldn’t offload fuel nor land at departure airport despite them circling overhead multiple times.
Instead they had to fly through mountain ranges towards Yakutsk airport before eventually landing in Irkutsk about five and a half hours later.
Police confiscated the plane upon arrival. They are investigating whether or not the deicer spray used to protect the fuselage before takeoff was faulty.
According to reports, 25 children were among the passengers who applauded pilots as they safely landed their plane in Irkutsk. After landing safely in Irkutsk, passengers were treated to drinks and meals.
This plane was flown by Hero pilots over Siberia five hours after it plunged into a sudden fall after take-off. It had 200 passengers.
Although the captain called for a Mayday, the pilots could not offload fuel or land at the departure airport. They circled overhead many times.
Panicking passengers ‘screamed and prayed’ while one woman said how she hugged her husband and said ‘goodbye’, convinced they would die.
Stanislav Kuimov, passenger, said that five minutes after takeoff the plane started to drop altitude rapidly. The plane threw us down and then up. Then, we were pressed down into the seats.
“The noise of engines, rattles in the wings and crackles of the fuselage are all horror.
Stanislav Kuimov, Passenger, stated that “The rattle of wings, crackle in the fuselage and noise of engines, bag falling off the luggage racks, the sound of engine roars, the creak of the fuselage – it’s all horrifying.”
Soon after takeoff, the captain called for a Mayday. The aircraft was rolled and moved and lights flashed intermittently. They attempted to make two emergency landings at Magadan, but could not get enough fuel for safe touch-down.
Despite an onboard electronics failure and losing the autopilot, the captain chose to fly on towards the next nearest airport – Yakutsk, the world’s coldest city.
A passenger described the following: “A strong rattling started, and the plane rolled side-to-side. The nose dropped sharply and then we plummeted at high speed.
“People started to pray and screamed, but no one could understand what was happening. After saying our goodbyes, my husband and I hugged one another.
The plane stabilized after about an hour but the pilots took 3 hours to reach 32,000ft.
The crew decided to avoid landing in Yakutsk where temperatures were minus 30C, but the ice problem had subsided.
After a nightmare five-and-a-half hours, they flew to Irkutsk.
Because of its low flight level during the initial three hours, the aircraft didn’t have enough fuel to get to Novosibirsk.
The S7 airline, a Russian major carrier and a member of the same “Oneworld” alliance as British Airways, stated that the plane entered a zone with severe icing on takeoff. This caused the disconnect of the autopilot.
The Airbus was impounded by law enforcement officers, who were conducting checks because they suspected that the Magadan deicing spray might have been faulty or fake.
After a nightmare five-and-a-half hours, the pilots took off for Irkutsk.
Russian newspaper Readovka was informed by a source that Readovka stated: “The crew reported a loss control and made the decision to return the aircraft to Magadan, the airport from which they had taken off.”
“But they could never descend and land.”
Video from flightradar captures the aircraft circling Magadan while it attempts an emergency landing. It does so shortly after taking off, but before climbing altitude again and continuing on.
Yury Grishan (Magadan mayor) praised the “high professionalism, courage, and composure” of the rescue crew.
He stated, “Your prompt actions prevented disaster and saved more than 200 lives.”
The Russian Investigative Committee for Transport and BaikalAngarsk Transport Prosecutor’s Office investigated the terror flight.