Damir Yusupov, the courageous pilot who successfully landed a Ural Airlines passenger plane in a Russian cornfield after both engines failed due to a bird strike, spoke out about the unforgettable experience. With 233 people on board, Yusupov shared that he didn’t have time to be afraid, as his immediate focus was on saving the lives of everyone on the plane.

Yusupov humbly stated, “I did what I had to do…I saved the plane, the passengers, the crew. I think that was the only decision. I don’t think I’m a hero.” Despite his modesty, his actions during the emergency situation were nothing short of heroic.

The landing, which took place near Zhukovsky airport on the outskirts of Moscow, has been compared to the famous “Miracle on the Hudson” in 2009 when Captain Chesley Sullenberger safely landed a plane in New York’s Hudson River after a bird strike.

Emergency officials reported that 74 people sought medical assistance following the landing. However, the Health Ministry clarified that only 23 individuals were hospitalized for injuries sustained during the crash, and all but one have been released after treatment.

In recognition of their bravery and quick response, President Vladimir Putin bestowed the title of Hero of Russia upon Yusupov and co-pilot Georgy Murzin. The rest of the crew were also honored with the Order of Courage for their remarkable efforts in ensuring the safety of the passengers while evacuating the plane within a matter of minutes.

The flight had departed from the airport en route to Simferopol, the capital of Ukraine’s Russia-annexed Crimea region. Shortly after takeoff, the plane encountered a flock of sea gulls, resulting in the failure of the left engine. Additionally, the right engine lost thrust after colliding with another flock of birds, making it impossible to keep the plane airborne.

Passengers were astounded by the intact condition of the plane even after it skidded through the cornfield for several hundred meters. Many of them captured video footage on their mobile phones, which they shared on social media networks.

Ural Airlines highlighted Yusupov’s extensive flying experience, with over 3,000 hours in the air. He has been a valued member of the company since 2013 and earned the position of captain just last year.

Remarkably, Yusupov’s path to becoming a pilot almost took a different route. Despite his father being a helicopter pilot, Yusupov initially pursued a career in law. It wasn’t until he enrolled in flight school at the age of 32 that he followed in his father’s footsteps and embarked on his aviation journey.

After this harrowing experience, Yusupov intends to take a break from the cockpit. “I’m currently on vacation, and I will rest while the crash investigation is carried out,” he shared.

This miraculous landing serves as a testament to the skill, bravery, and determination of Damir Yusupov and his crew. Their quick thinking and unwavering dedication to passenger safety ensured that everyone on board survived this unprecedented incident.