Damir Yusupov, the pilot who successfully landed a Ural Airlines passenger plane in a Russian cornfield, has been hailed as a hero for his quick thinking and bravery during a terrifying situation. Despite both engines being knocked out by birds, Yusupov remained calm and focused on saving the 233 people onboard.
Speaking in Yekaterinburg, Yusupov shared his experience, stating, “I wasn’t afraid. I did what I had to do… I saved the plane, the passengers, the crew. I think that was the only decision. I don’t think I’m a hero.” Although he humbly denies his heroic status, his actions undoubtedly saved many lives.
In the aftermath of the landing, emergency officials reported that 74 people sought medical assistance, with 23 requiring hospitalization for injuries sustained in the crash. Fortunately, all but one have been released after receiving treatment.
Yusupov and the rest of the crew have received recognition and awards for their extraordinary work. President Vladimir Putin bestowed the title of Hero of Russia upon Yusupov and co-pilot Georgy Murzin. The other crew members were honored with the Order of Courage for their instrumental role in keeping passengers safe and efficiently evacuating the aircraft moments after landing.
The incident has drawn parallels to the 2009 “Miracle on the Hudson,” where Captain Chesley Sullenberger successfully landed a U.S. Airways plane in the Hudson River after a bird strike. This latest event showcases the extraordinary skill and bravery of pilots like Yusupov, who must make split-second decisions during emergencies.
Yusupov’s experience and expertise also played a crucial role in the safe landing. With over 3,000 hours of flying under his belt, he is a highly experienced pilot. He joined Ural Airlines in 2013 and became a captain just last year.
Interestingly, Yusupov initially chose a different path from aviation, following in his father’s footsteps as a lawyer. However, his passion for flying eventually led him to attend flight school at the age of 32. It is a testament to his courage and determination that he was able to achieve such success in his aviation career.
In light of this harrowing experience, Yusupov expressed that he will be taking a break from the cockpit. “I’m on vacation now, and I’ll rest while the investigation into the crash is carried out,” he stated. It is well-deserved respite after the incredible feat he accomplished.
This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of highly skilled pilots and their ability to remain composed under immense pressure. Yusupov’s heroic actions will forever be remembered, and the lives he saved are a testament to his unwavering dedication to his passengers’ safety.