YEKATERINBURG, August 15. /TASS/. The flight commander of the Ural Airlines aircraft that conducted a belly landing in a cornfield outside Moscow on Thursday morning has over 3,000 hours of flight experience, the air carrier’s spokesperson told TASS.
"Damir Yusupov was the flight’s commander. It is thanks to his high-level of competence and the crew’s well-coordinated actions that made it possible to land the plane and avoid any tragic consequences. Damir Yusupov is 41 and has … more than 3,000 hours of flight experience," the spokesperson said.
According to the press service, Yusupov graduated with honors from the St. Petersburg State University of Civil Aviation in 2013 and was immediately hired by Ural Airlines.
"In 2018, Yusupov also graduated from the Ulyanovsk Institute of Civil Aviation, the Flight Navigation Department," the spokesperson pointed out.
Ural Airlines Director General Sergei Skuratov told TASS earlier that the emergency landing had been performed correctly, and that the pilots had prevented a fire from breaking out on board the plane, landing the aircraft on its belly in an open field.
A Ural Airlines Airbus A321 made a belly landing near Zhukovsky International Airport earlier on Thursday. According to the Federal Air Transport Agency, the plane suffered a bird strike shortly after takeoff. There were over 230 people aboard the aircraft. Following the emergency landing 23 people, including nine children were taken to the hospital.