Key Points:

  • Due to hydraulic failure, Ural Airlines' Airbus A320 executed an emergency landing in a field near Novosibirsk; 167 passengers unharmed.

  • The landed plane may either be scrapped or attempt takeoff from the same field during Siberia's frozen winter.

  • Russia's retention of Western-built planes amid sanctions makes the Airbus A320 more valuable.

The Fate of Stranded Ural A320 Undecided Amid Winter Approaching and Geopolitical Tensions

MOSCOW —On September 12, an Airbus A320 operated by Ural Airlines made an unexpected landing in an open field close to Novosibirsk following a hydraulic malfunction. Thankfully, all 167 passengers aboard escaped unscathed. However, the predicament of having an Airbus marooned in a field now poses challenges.

Initially, when a similar incident occurred involving Ural Airlines Flight 178 near Moscow in 2019, the plane was dismantled and discarded after a bird strike forced an emergency landing in a cornfield. The situation for the 19-year-old A320 near Novosibirsk might have mirrored this approach. But due to geopolitical tensions, particularly the sanctions on Russia, the country has held onto the Airbus, previously owned by SMBC Aviation Capital, and many other Western planes. With Russia facing difficulties in acquiring more passenger aircraft from Western manufacturers, this Airbus A320 has become a significant asset.

Recent sightings show the plane connected to a ground power unit, suggesting attempts to restart it. A report by Breaking Aviation News & Videos on September 25 supports these observations, proposing that a takeoff might be planned once Siberian winter solidifies the ground. However, the timeline for this bold attempt remains unspecified.

Typically, an Airbus A320 wouldn't be seen taking off from Siberian fields, especially during the winter season. If this eventuality comes to pass, it's bound to be an unforgettable sight, hopefully caught on camera for the world to witness.