The Aviation Herald is reporting that Ural Airlines appears to be getting ready to fly an A320 out of a Russian field where it landed a week ago. The publication, citing local observers, said the aircraft has been jacked out of the ruts it dug in the soft ground, the engines serviced and covered and all the emergency slides stowed. The story included a photo of the buttoned-up airplane, saying it was taken on Sept. 17. The Herald said the airline announced Sept. 17 that the aircraft will fly again “soon” but didn’t give a timeline. Presumably the takeoff will have to wait until the ground has firmed up, perhaps with colder fall temperatures.
The Herald has uncovered new details about the events that led to the off-airport landing. It was initially reported that the flight diverted from its intended destination of Omsk because of a hydraulic failure. The Herald is now saying the hydraulics failed during a weather-related go-around. The crew calculated there was enough fuel to get to Novosibirsk, about 300 miles east, but the gear may not have retracted properly, leaving the nosegear doors open. The resulting drag chewed up the fuel supply, and local authorities said there was less than 500 pounds of fuel (about five minutes of flying time) left when the plane landed about 100 miles from its new destination. The only damage was to the nosegear, and none of the 167 people onboard was hurt.