The Ural Airlines operated Airbus A320, that has been left stranded since September 12, 2023, looks set to spend the winter in the same field where pilots were forced to make an emergency landing.
Speaking to Russian website KP-Novosibirsk, the head of the Ubinsky District in Russia, Oleg Konyuk, said that when he last spoke with Ural Airlines representatives, he was advised the Airbus may be “mothballed” for the winter.
“It does not depend on me. This will be decided by the airline. Today they say this, tomorrow they may say something else. They decide whether the plane can take off or not, whether it will be right or wrong,” Konyuk said.
It had been thought that Ural Airlines was waiting for the ground to freeze so the plane would stand a better chance of taking off, but the statement by Konyuk suggests that the evacuation of the Airbus A320 may wait until after winter.
“Now frosts are coming, there is no snow. In a good way, almost tomorrow or the day after tomorrow we need to prepare the site, launch the graders and take off. This is my opinion, but I’m not an expert in this. I repeat, it’s not me who makes the decision,” Konyuk added.
The latest update on November 22, 2023, comes as new photos of the landing site have also emerged.
In images shared on social media a fence has been erected around the aircraft and within the compound a caravan, shipping container and even a portable toilet can be seen.
Earlier in November 2023, the Federal Air Transport Agency of Russia dismissed an initial report into the cause of the emergency landing.
The report was said to be cancelled due to “newly discovered circumstances”, although what those were was not confirmed.
The conclusion of the original report stated that the forced landing occurred as a result of a combination of several factors.
Those include that the pilots made mistakes in determining the actual position of the landing gear and doors after the failure of the green hydraulic system.
The crew also erred in calculating the required amount of fuel required for the diversion flight and made an “unfounded decision” to leave for an alternate airfield in Novosibirsk.
Russia is a 3rd world country: 2 months after landing in a field in Siberia, the passenger plane that suffered a failure is still there. A fence has been built around it though. 👍 https://t.co/dY67kBrjjg pic.twitter.com/MFFmNCHUYs— Igor Sushko (@igorsushko) November 20, 2023