Passengers of a Sukhoi Superjet 100 were in for a surprise when they found out the liner accidentally landed on a runaway under construction upon its touchdown in Moscow. Apparently, nobody noticed anything until the very end.
The construction of the third runway at Domodedovo airport has been delayed for years, but it seems it’s high time to finish the project, given that some planes are already using it.
With 99 people aboard, the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 safely touched down on the unfinished runway of the second busiest airport serving Russia’s capital around mid-day on Thursday. There were no injuries among the passengers and the crew, nor any other complications.
Footage taken by a passenger from inside the airliner shows it gradually descending on a barren runway sporting no lines or markings.
The non-existent runway marks seemingly raised no suspicions for the passengers, however, with the video showing no trace of panic among them during the tricky landing.
Media reports could only speculate as to why a landing on one of the functional airstrips was impossible, until the communications of the captain with the airport services were obtained by the Baza news outlet.
The pilot – employed by IrAero carrier, a Russian airline based in the Siberian city of Irkutsk – said that there was no emergency onboard and that the whole thing was his mistake. Weather conditions were poor in the capital and he had a better visibility of the incomplete runway, he explained, which was located just 280 meters away from the old one.
The aviator said he performed a routine landing and only understood that he touched down in the wrong place upon hitting the ground.
The construction of the third runaway the Domodedovo Airport began in 2014 and was set for completion in two years’ time, but the bankruptcy of its main contractor upset the applecart, with the runway 80 percent complete, according to Vedomosti newspaper. The Transport Ministry said last year that it was eager to resume the project, but hasn’t yet announced when the strip will finally be put into service.