Amazing Emergency Landing in Komi

Tuesday, September 7, 2010
By George Hatcher

Click to view full size photo at
Contact photographer Alexander Nikolaev

What: Alrosa Mirny Air Tupolev TU-154M en route from Yakutia/Polyarny to Moscow
Where: Komi republic, at the Izhma airport
When: Sep 7th 2010
Who: 72 passengers, three children, nine crew members
Why: Four hours into the flight, the plane suffered an on board power system failure. The plane suffered a complete failure of electrical power resulting in loss of navigation devices, fuel pumps and leaving the pilots with no knowledge of available fuel.

The pilot had to make an emergency immediate landing in the Komi republic, at the Izhma airport. The Izhma airport is normally used for helicopters in military operations, but it is a former 1200 meter airport runway. The plane overran the runway into a wooded area and was substantially damaged.

No passengers were hurt. They disembarked via slide in the forested area. The slide has seen better days. It is either third-hand, or has been used frequently.

The Komi Republic is arranging for transportation of passengers from Izhma to Ukhta (which is the nearest airport) by helicopter. On arrival in Ukhta, passengers will board a replacement flight and continue to Moscow

It appears that the carrier will leave the damaged plane where it sits, as it can not take off.

George’s Point of View

What an extraordinary feat to that plane safely. Imagine having no knowledge of how much fuel was left, or even if it would be accessible, with nowhere to land but on a helicopter landing strip, without power, with no way to brake. A harrowing ride, and some brilliant snap decisions on the part of the crew.

Click to view the runway

My hat is off to the pilot and crew.

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