Pilot hailed as hero after bird strike disables Russian jet
MOSCOW — A Russian pilot was hailed as a hero Thursday for safely landing his passenger jet in a cornfield after a collision with a flock of gulls seconds after takeoff crippled both engines. While dozens of people on the plane sought medical assistance, only one was hospitalized.
The quick thinking of the captain, Damir Yusupov, 41, drew comparisons to the 2009 ‘‘miracle on the Hudson,’’ when Captain Chesley Sullenberger safely ditched his plane in the river in New York after a bird strike.
Russian television stations showed passengers standing in head-high corn next to the plane, hugging Yusupov and thanking him.
‘‘It was quite a feat to keep the plane from stalling and quickly find a place to land,’’ Viktor Zabolotsky, a former test pilot, said in remarks.
The Ural Airlines A321 was carrying 226 passengers and a crew of seven as it took off Thursday from Moscow’s Zhukovsky Airport.