ANAPA, August 16. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has bestowed the Hero of Russia titles on the two Ural Airlines pilots who were forced to make an emergency landing in a field in the Moscow suburbs on August 15. Other crewmembers have been awarded the Orders of Courage.
"I have signed a decree decorating the crew of the aircraft that made an emergency crash landing near Zhukovsky Airport," the president said, opening a meeting with the permanent members of the Russian Security Council. "The captain of the aircraft and the second pilot have been awarded the Hero of Russia titles, while other crewmembers have received the Orders of Courage," Putin added.
The Russian president hoped that, as he put it, "accidents of this kind would be far fewer," and elaborated that "in fact, I wish nothing like this would ever happen again." "Nevertheless, the training level of this airline’s staff can be considered… to be appropriate," the head of state pointed out.
On August 15, a Ural Airlines A321 aircraft headed from Moscow to Simferopol performed a belly landing near Zhukovsky International Airport. According to the air carrier, both of the aircraft’s engines failed and caught fire following a bird strike shortly after takeoff.
The pilots landed the plane in a nearby cornfield, and all the passengers were evacuated. There were more than 230 people on board, including 41 kids.