Though it might still be several months in the future, Ural Airlines has indicated it is proceeding with plans to fly its stranded A320 out of a remote field where it made an emergency landing on Sept. 12. According to reports, the airline has conducted tests on the aircraft’s turbofan engines and determined they do not require further overhaul, maintenance or repair. Ural reports the engine flow section has been “cleared of soil and straw, which was confirmed by repeated inspection.”
But ensuring the engines’ performance could be one of the easier tasks. A full examination of the airframe and landing gear must ensure not only that it escaped excessive damage in the emergency landing, but also that it would be up to the unconventional stresses and complications involved in taking off from a (highly) unimproved surface. The airline is currently working on bringing in lifting equipment to raise the fuselage for further landing gear test and evaluation. “The plan also includes dismantling the seats to make the aircraft lighter,” Ural said.
There is speculation that the airline is waiting, perhaps as long as several months, for colder weather to freeze the ground for more support for the planned takeoff. Work is reportedly underway to provide temporary storage shelter in place for the aircraft in the interim.