Friday, October 3, 2008

Russian Commercial Plane Lands Without Wheels

Russia, with one of the worst air safety records in the world is working hard to retain that title with a 737 belly landing.

A Russian-operated passenger plane crash-landed at a provincial airport late on Wednesday after its landing gear failed, national news agencies reported, raising fresh concerns about the country's chequered air safety record.

None of the 108 passengers or six crew onboard the KD-Avia Boeing 737-300 flying from Barcelona was injured when the plane was forced to land on its fuselage at Kaliningrad airport, the state-run Itar-Tass news agency reported.

Russia has one of the world's worst air safety records, with ageing Soviet-era planes, dated airport facilities, poor plane maintenance and lax standards contributing to a grim crash toll.

Last month, all 88 passengers and crew aboard an Aeroflot Boeing plane died when the plane crashed in a ball of fire near the Ural mountains. In August 2006, 170 people were killed when a TU-154 plane crashed in Ukraine on a flight to St Petersburg.

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