Passengers on a Russian plane disembarked in minus 52C to push their jet – after its brakes froze in the icy temperatures.
The UTair aircraft ‘literally froze on the ground at Igarka airport, above the Arctic Circle,’ reported The Siberian Times.
‘Fearing the UTair service to regional capital Krasnoyarsk could be delayed, many of the 70 passengers used brute strength to free the 30 ton Tupolev 134.’
The passengers pushed the plane’s wings, freeing the frozen brakes, and moving it backwards.
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, it was reported.
Vladimir Artemenko, a director of Katekavia, which ran the flight jointly with UTair claimed the Tu-134 was ‘technically serviceable’, but the chilly temperatures led it to freeze up.
The airport tractor had failed to move the plane.
‘When people pushed the plane, the wheel cranked out, and then the aircraft could continue to move,’ he said.