VIDEO: Test pilots extract stranded Alrosa Tu-154

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Pilots in Russia have managed to extract an Alrosa Tupolev Tu-154 from a remote military airfield, six months after an in-flight power loss and emergency landing left the aircraft stranded.

The landing damaged the trijet, when it overran the 1,300m runway at Izhma in the Komi republic, and the short field meant that it could not easily be flown out again.

Tupolev says it carried out a technical study on the state of the aircraft, and that test pilots from the Russian state aviation research institute GosNII were selected to fly the jet out.

"After repair the aircraft will continue to operate for Alrosa," it adds. The airline is based in Mirny, eastern Russia.

Video images show the aircraft, RA-85684, departing from the Izhma airfield in snowy conditions following initial repair work. Local reports suggest the empty aircraft became airborne from Izhma after a take-off roll of just 800m.

 

 

Russian federal aviation supervisor Rosaviatsia says that, following the recovery, the aircraft was flown to the city of Ukhta, 160km south of Izhma, where it landed safely at 11:13.

The Tu-154 will undergo further checks before being flown to the Aviakor aircraft plant in Samara for additional work.

It had been en route from Polyarny to Moscow Domodedovo on 7 September last year when it was forced to perform the emergency landing.

Rosaviatsia says that the aircraft had been cruising at 10,000m altitude when it suffered "thermal runaway" of electrical batteries, following which there was an extensive loss of power, navigation systems and radio communications.

None of the 72 passengers and nine crew members was injured in the accident. The pilots, navigator, engineer and cabin crew members were subsequently honoured for their actions.