Hero pilot saves 7 people after crash landing in forest when engines failed

A pilot who saved the lives of seven people on board a plane where both engines failed has been praised as a hero.

All seven people on board the Antonov-30 miraculously survived the terrifying plane crash, with the aircraft reported as missing after it dropped off of radar screens and crashed deep in the heart of Siberia.

Extensive damage to the plane can be seen in shocking images, with the AN-30 shown to have hefty dents and scratches on its sides after crash-landing into a forest.

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The AN-30 is said to be used in Russia to spike clouds with a chemical cocktail, triggering rain to douse wildfires.

Reports indicate that same weather-changing technology is used to make way for sunny skies whenever Russian president Vladimir Putin hosts military parades.

Captain Yevgeny Kudashov, 67, was piloting the flight from Yakutsk to Olenyok and received praise from his co-pilot, Vladimir Vinogradov, for the quick thinking.

Vinogradov, who suffered a spinal injury because of the crash landing, said: "The engines stopped. The commander made the right decision.

"He is very experienced, landed it skillfully. We all helped him, all the crew. As you see, there were no casualties."

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Co-pilot Vinogradov continued: "We are very lucky we had such a captain…and everyone is alive after landing the plane in a forest."

Other passengers on board the flight have suffered some minor scrapes and bruises, with Captain Kudashov suffering bruising and shock while navigator Boris Lybkin, 49, suffered a fractured left leg and ankle.

In a statement released by the Russian Emergencies Ministry, they bluntly set out where the plane was found and the medical attention that was required.

The statement read: "During a search and rescue operation, the AN-30 plane was discovered 70 kilometres (43 miles) away from the community of Olenyok.

"The people on board are alive. Three of them requested medical attention."

It was also noted that the plane had not been used for cloud-changing at the time of its crash, with some reports suggesting that the finances for the weather-changing chemicals was running out and unavailable until July.

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The cause of the engine failure for the AN-30 is currently being investigated, with the plane carrying a cargo of fruits and perishable items.

It is said that the plane was carrying potatoes, onions, eggs and fruit to a remote settlement when it came into trouble with its engines, causing a sudden crash landing.

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