Russia’s 737-900 Azur Air Boeng had 175 people on board when it plummeted on Saturday as it approached the Black Sea resort of Sochi in southwest Russia.
The plane, which had left Ekanterinberg earlier in the day, had to cancel its flight plan and make an emergency landing in Krasnodar, about 180 miles north of Sochi.
A passenger said he was saying goodbye to life as the plane collapsed from the sky.
“Bottles and other small items scattered throughout the cabin.
“Then lightning struck us.
“There was a loud bang and a flash of light. “
Ekaterina S/east2west news)
The video captures the impact of the turbulence on the plane after it was struck by lightning, then the moment the pilots miraculously manage to regain control of the plane and make an incredible emergency landing.
A tourist, Anna, told the E1 newspaper that everyone was “shocked”.
“A woman next to me crossed herself. I remembered all the prayers I knew, ”she said.
“When lightning struck, I turned around. A man sitting next to him had such fear in his eyes – I will remember this for the rest of my life.
Another woman, Anastasia, described the plane flying through huge gray clouds when suddenly lightning struck.
The flash was clearly visible, she said, and people quickly got scared, thinking the engine had been hit.
There had been a shocking dive minutes earlier, as the plane fell several hundred feet due to severe turbulence caused by the storm.
news E1 / east2west)
Ekaterina S/east2west news)
Unsecured passengers slipped into the plane, as water bottles and glasses flew everywhere, she said.
People were screaming and crying as the plane “dived and shook”.
But as everyone started to say goodbye, the pilots abruptly started climbing again.
After that, the plane – on a three and a half hour flight from Yekaterinburg – made an emergency landing in Krasnodar.
The pivot of the destination came after Soschii was hit by a severe storm that forced the airport to close.
Yekaterina, a real estate agent and mother of one, said the plane was about to land when the dramatic incident occurred.
“The plane was rocked very hard and all of a sudden it started to fall,” she said. “We were about four seconds in free fall. “
The pilot reacted quickly, she said, and the plane suddenly began to rise in the air as the passengers were shaking, screaming and praying.
She remembers a pilot telling people not to panic and to put on their seat belts.
The passengers were not initially informed that they had landed at the wrong airport as the pilots could not continue their journey to Sochi.
But passengers stood up and applauded the flight crew once the plane came to a stop, while some demanded to meet the pilot and take a selfie – a request that was denied.
“Thank you for saving our lives,” Yekaterina posted.