–52C in Siberia: Over 70 passengers 'push' frozen plane to runway (VIDEO)
74 passengers, who were on board, offered the seven-member crew and technical staff to help move the frozen Tupolev Tu-134 plane to the takeoff runway on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the UTair company told TASS.
“The passengers disembarked to lighten the weight, and then they volunteered to move it,” she said.
The temperatures in Igarka, in the Krasnoyarsk region, hit a low of about -52C. Locals, living some 163 km north of the Arctic Circle, are quite used to cold weather, but machines turn out to be more delicate.
Having spent over 24 hours on the tarmac, the airplane’s wheels simply froze to the ground. However, the brake system wasn’t harmed. According to the company, the ice-covered ground was the reason the plane couldn’t be moved. The incident is currently under investigation, and will involve airport staff, the airline, crew and passengers.
The passengers of the charter flight were rotation workers, heading to Krasnoyarsk. They didn’t regard their activity as anything outstanding. There just was no other way for the plane to take off, they said.
“Planted a tree, built a house, pushed a plane,” goes a new joke, referring to the three vital actions of a real Russian man, which also includes having a son, according to a local TV.
Пилот попросил пассажиров подтолкнуть самолет!!! Россия Красноярский край г.Игарка...за бортом -40! pic.twitter.com/elnVD9foTT
— Алексей Флянов (@fljan1) November 26, 2014
Nonetheless, the director of the local airport said that “The passengers – rotation workers – must have decided to make some sort of a ‘selfie’. The joke proved right and became a good one in the internet.”
He was doubtful whether people could actually move a 70-ton aircraft. This was backed by the prosecutor’s words, who added that it would be hard to reach its two-meter-high wings, and if you did manage, the cover and flaps could get damaged.
The plane successfully made it to Krasnoyarsk, albeit it with a little delay.