Russia may tighten aircraft engine requirements after recent A321 bird strike

Russia may tighten aircraft engine requirements, due to the recent incident with an Airbus A321 that was forced to belly-land in a Moscow suburban cornfield after striking a flock of birds causing the airliner’s engines to fail.

“If all this is true [that a flock of birds struck the airliner’s engines], this may quite lead to further tightening of the requirements for engine tests. But we still have to wait for the official results of the probe into this incident,” Managing Director and CEO of Aviadvigatel (part of Russia’s United Engine-Making Corporation) Alexander Inozemtsev said on the sidelines of the 12th All-Russian congress on fundamental problems of theoretical and applied mechanics, which runs in Ufa on August 19-24.

Today, the tests of large Russian-made engines simulate a strike by a bird weighing 8 kg. Also, 15 gulls were hurled into the PD-14 engine to demonstrate its reliability upon a bird strike, he said, adding that the designers would have to adapt themselves to a possible change in the requirements.

“If we are assigned a task, we will have to deal with it since there is no other way out: if you want to fly, you have to comply with the requirements,” the Aviadvigatel chief executive said.

On August 15, a Ural Airlines Airbus A321 was heading to Simferopol from Moscow when it made a belly landing near Zhukovsky International Airport. According to the Federal Air Transport Agency and the airline, the plane struck a flock of birds shortly after takeoff. Both of the aircraft’s engines sucked in some gulls and caught fire. There were over 230 people aboard the aircraft, of them 226 passengers including 41 children.

The crew managed to land the plane in a cornfield and evacuate all the passengers. According to the latest data of the Health Ministry, a total of 76 people, including 19 children, were hurt in the emergency landing. One woman was hospitalized.

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