Preparing for the Worst-Case Scenario: What Pilots Are Thinking During a Dual Engine Failure

As a pilot, a dual engine failure is something that you will probably never experience in your entire career. Yet, last week in Moscow, the day which we never expect to occur happened to the two pilots operating Ural Airlines Flight 178 to Simferopol.

As they rotated their Airbus A321 into the air, the aircraft hit a flock of seagulls. Even though engines are designed to continue running after impacting a flock of birds, the size of the seagulls was too much for the engines to take.

The aircraft started to climb away from the ground but with both engines stricken, the aircraft wouldn’t be able to climb for much longer. Less than a minute later, the aircraft would come to rest in a corn field.

All 233 passengers and crew evacuated safely via the emergency exit slides with nothing more than a few bumps and bruises. Almost before the one-in-a-million event had started, it was over. For the passengers left standing amongst the corn sheaths, it was a miracle. For the pilots who brought them safely through this incredible event, it was a combination of great skill and a little bit of luck.

So what was going through the pilots minds when this happened? How did they react? And how did they know what to do in order to save all 231 lives on board?

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