Travel

Insane Russians push their own plane after it freezes in Siberia

In America, plane carries passengers. In Russia, passengers carry plane. Or push it, at least.

That actually what happened on Wednesday at Russia’s Igarka Airport, when the brake pads of a UTair plane froze, leaving 70 passengers stuck on the tarmac. A handful braved the -61F weather (that can't be safe for planes, or people) to push the airplane with the help of a truck, after a pushback tractor failed to get the Katekavia flight off the ground. Note to Russians: if the plane doesn't want to fly because it's freezing, just listen to Mother Nature.

Once the plane had been moved to the taxiway, it took off and landed safely in Krasnoyarsk. “When people pushed the plane, the wheel cranked out, and then the aircraft could continue to move”, Vladimir Artemenko, Katekavia’s technical director said.

But not everyone’s impressed with the superhuman efforts; prosecutors are concerned air safety laws were broken.

As Oxana Gorbunova, a senior aide at the Western Siberia state transport prosecutor's office, told Russian news agency, RIA Novosti, passengers are “not permitted” to push the plane “as this can damage the aircraft skin”.

Still, there’s no denying it’s a pretty badass way to start a flight. As one guy says in the video, “Real men can plant a tree, build a house, and push a plane”.

Hard to argue with that.


Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.