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Wife of Russian emergency landing pilot recalls call from husband

The wife of a Russian pilot who safely landed an airliner carrying 233 people in a cornfield outside Moscow after striking a flock of birds spoke of her pride and relief on Thursday (August 15).

Natalya Yusupova, wife of pilot captain Damir Yusupov, could not track the flight her husband was supposed to be piloting but when a call appeared on her phone from a number she did not know, her husband was on the other end, having roughly landed the plane in a field, saving everyone on board.

“My love, hi,” he said to her. “Everything is good, everyone is alive.”

Damir and his colleague Georgiy Murzin’s actions prompted the Kremlin to hail them as heroes who will receive top state awards.

Russian state media have said it was a miracle that no one was killed when the Ural Airlines Airbus 321 came down in a field southeast of Moscow with its landing gear up after hitting a passing flock of gulls, disrupting the plane’s engines.

Up to 74 people, including 19 children, were treated for injuries, six of whom have been hospitalized, Russian news agencies quoted the emergencies ministry as saying.

Yusupova met her husband in an airplane where they flew together as passengers. They have four children together.

(Production: Alexander Pugachev, Dmitry Turlyun)

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