Russian bear goes planespotting, forces S7 A320 to go around

Becca, @binkabonka

S7 Siberian Airlines domestic flight in Russia was forced to make a go-around after a wild bear was spotted wandering around the runway of Magadan Airport. 

The flight S75219 took off from Novosibirsk Tolmachevo Airport(OVB) and was scheduled to land in Magadan Sokol Airport (GDX) five hours later on August 17, 2020.

However, the plans got interrupted and the Airbus A320neo captain operating the flight had to perform a go-around during a final approach to Magadan after receiving information about a bear occupying the runway. 

This delayed the arrival by 20 minutes, data indicates. The aircraft managed to avoid the trespasser and landed safely without incident.

Flight controllers were the ones who spotted the bear, local media reports indicate. Had they not, the landing may have resulted in aircraft damage or worse.

The S7 Airbus A320neo that was used for the flight was less than two years old. The aircraft, registration number VQ-BRI, was produced in Hamburg (XFW) and delivered to the Siberian airline in October 2018.

Bears are becoming notorious in Russia as avid aviation “admirers”. Previously, one was caught wandering through a personnel’s security gate at Yelizovo Airport (PKC) in June 2019.

Read more: Unexpected passenger wanders Russian airport

However, animals are not always successfully spotted in time to avoid an incident. On July 14, 2020, a Kenyan DHC-8 cargo plane flying from Djibouti Airport (JIB), Djibouti, to Beledweyne (HCMN), Somalia, crashed after failing to detect a donkey on the runway before landing. All crew members were rescued before the plane caught fire.

Read more: Kenyan DHC-8 carrying aid crashes in Somalia


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