KIEV, Ukraine — You may have had to push a car to get it going, but have you ever tried pushing a plane? That arduous task presented itself to passengers on a UTair flight in Russia this week after their ride got stuck in ice.
Passengers in Igarka, a small town some 100 miles north of the Arctic circle in the country's Krasnoyarsk region, had to push-start their plane after it became frozen when temperatures there plunged to a frigid minus 59 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday.
Seventy-four oil workers and seven crew members were set to fly the 30-ton Tupolev-134 airliner from Igarka to Krasnoyarsk, about 800 miles to the south, when its chassis froze to the ground at Igarka airport.
Many of the passengers — donning heavy coats, hats and gloves — braved the biting wind to push on the plane's wings and nudge it free. Breathing heavily into the freezing air, the group seemingly gradually shifted the plane backwards. However, some have questioned whether they actually moved the plane, or were just pretending for the video.
After the plane was set loose, a tractor did the rest of the work, and the passengers were on their way. The plane reportedly took off, and landed safely hours later in Krasnoyarsk.nam-
Oksana Gorbunova, an official at the local prosecutor’s office, was less amused than social media users by the incident. She told Russia's Interfaxnews agency that an investigation would be conducted to find out why the passengers left their seats, and pushed the plane.
“They pushed the plane as if it was a car that had got stuck, which is categorically forbidden, as it can damage the plane’s exterior, for example,” the news agency quoted Gorbunova as saying.
The plane was operated by Katekavia, a subsidiary of UTair, one of Russia’s biggest airlines.nam-
Problems developed on one of Russia's coldest days of the year because the wrong kind of grease was used for the landing gear, according to reports.
Tags: ICE, PLANE, RUSSIA, TRAVEL & LEISURE, US & World, VIDEOS, WORLD