An Antonov An-124 Condor strategic transport aircraft, operated by Russia’s specialist Volga-Dnepr Airlines, made a dramatic emergency landing today at Novosibirsk in Siberia after a catastrophic engine failure after take-off. On landing, the airlifter’s nose landing gear collapsed and it skidded off the end of the snowy runway. Despite several pieces of engine debris landing on a populated area, no injuries have been reported so far.
The An-124-100, which has the Russian registration RA-82042, and is one of around a dozen in service with Volga-Dnepr, had departed Novosibirsk International Airport in Tolmachevo and was destined for Vienna, Austria. It was not carrying any cargo at the time of the incident, but 14 crew members were on board.
Videos of the incident show the An-124 coming in to land at Novosibirsk International Airport in a tight banking turn, before touching down on runway 25, around two minutes after it had taken off. The An-124, which weighs over 390,000 pounds when unloaded, overran the end of the runway by around 650 feet, with its nose undercarriage collapsing in the snow.
Initial reports indicate that the aircraft’s number two engine, in the inboard left nacelle, suffered an uncontained engine event, which occurs when fragments of rotating turbine parts penetrate and exit through the nacelle. These types of failure can be especially dangerous since they pose a risk of fast-moving parts penetrating the cabin, fuel tanks, flight control surfaces, or other critical parts of the aircraft.
In this case, it seems that some of the engine parts penetrated one side of the fuselage before passing through the other, tearing especially visible holes around the wing root, while other parts fell to the ground. Photos posted after the event seem to show that some of this debris smashed through the roof of a warehouse.