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Ural Airlines admits no plans to return stranded Airbus A320 back to service

Ural Airlines has admitted that it has no plans to return an Airbus A320 that became stranded in a Russian wheat field just outside Novosibirsk, in southern Siberia, back into service.  

On September 12, 2023, the Airbus A320 with 167 people onboard was forced to land in a Russian wheat field after the aircraft ran out of fuel while diverting to Novosibirsk Airport (OVB).  

For months following the accident rumors swelled that the A320 would take off once the ground had frozen in winter temperatures or that it would be cut into pieces and airlifted from the field by helicopters.  

On April 11, 2024, news outlet TASS reported that Ural Airlines said it had spent “9.27 million rubles” ($99,000) on payments to the farmer that owned the field, security, fencing and containers since the aircraft became stranded.  

Ural Airlines also told TASS that it did not have a plan to return the Airbus A320 aircraft to flights, something that was also widely reported on other Russian news websites.  

In an additional statement to URA.RU, Ural Airlines said: “We are assessing all the risks and are inclined to not use this aircraft in commercial operation, taking into account the fact that in the current conditions there is no support from the manufacturer Airbus.”   

Siberian Transport Prosecutor’s Office

On April 11, 2024, the Russian Federal Agency for Air Transport (Rosaviatsiya) also published an investigation report that said the incident arose out of multiple violations and errors made by the crew. 

Part of the report seen by AeroTime said that the pilots diverted to OVB as they knew the hydraulic system affecting the aircraft could be repaired there.  

The report said that the crew were concerned that if they landed at their designated destination at Omsk Tsentralny Airport (OMS) it would go against company advice to try and land at airports where there are trained technical personnel to perform troubleshooting work. 

The report also said that the Ural Airlines board will decide whether two deputy general directors responsible for safety on flights should remain in their positions. 

AeroTime first reported in November 2023, that the Ural Airline Airbus A320 would be dismantled.  

At the time Ural Airlines said, “no decisions will be made until the end of the investigation”.    

The post Ural Airlines admits no plans to return stranded Airbus A320 back to service appeared first on AeroTime.

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