Jet suffers extensive damage to wing and fuselage

Tom Batchelor

A cargo plane that suffered engine damage shortly after takeoff was forced to carry out an emergency landing that resulted in the nose gear buckling after the jet overran the runway.

All 14 people onboard were said to be unharmed after the incident involving an Antonov An-124 cargo jet at Novosibirsk Tolmachevo airport in central Russia.

Photos of the aircraft showed its nose gear collapsed as well as extensive damage to the wing and fuselage. 

Close-up images of the engine fan blades revealed what appeared to be blood and feathers, pointing to a possible bird strike, however investigators have yet to comment on the cause of the incident.

According to reports, the jet — bound for Vienna at around midday local time on Friday (11pm GMT on Thursday) carrying more than 80 tonnes of cargo — suffered an uncontained engine failure shortly after take-off.

At around 1,800ft, contact with the aircraft was lost. A short time later video footage showed it descending towards the airport, with smoke visible from at least one engine.

Separate footage apparently filmed from the air traffic control tower showed the jet overshooting the runway, causing the nose gear to snap.

Parts of the plane, including engine cowling, were found scattered around two miles from the airport, landing in a field as well as causing damage to the roof of a nearby warehouse.

The 30-year-old Soviet Union-era jet, operated by the Russia-based cargo charter service Volga-Dnepr Airlines, had arrived from the South Korean capital, Seoul, a day earlier.

According to the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, the incident was caused by engine problems.

The West-Siberian Transport Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia said: “The investigation team is on the scene and is currently inspecting the site of the incident, including the aircraft and other verification activities, aimed at establishing all the circumstances of the incident.”