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Friday 6 December 2019

Aircraft passengers 'push-start' frozen plane in Russia’s Arctic

Shift workers put muscle behind the wings of a plane in Russia's Arctic as lubricant reportedly freezes in aircraft chassis


If you thought your commute was bad this morning, spare a thought for the Siberian air passengers who had to push their frozen plane to the runway in Russia's Arctic.

The UTair jet was due to take off from Igarka airport in Siberia, but as temperatures dropped to a numbing -52C the braking system froze to the ground.

The town lies beyond the Arctic Circle, but while residents are used to the biting weather, aeroplanes don't cope quite so well.

The passengers disembarked and used brute force to push the 30 ton Tupolev 134.

Men - many of them oil and gas workers who were heading to the capital Krasnoyarsk - are heard shouting: "Come on, push!"

One says: "Real man can plant a tree, build a house, push a plane" and another adds: "We just want to get back home."

The hardy Siberians did not regard their activity as anything unusual, saying "there just was no other way for the plane to take off".

The Siberian Times reported that problems developed on one of the coldest days of the year because the wrong kind of grease was used for the landing gear - unsuitable for Far North locations.

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