At the time when political disputes were at heights between Washington and Russia, the US and Russia calmly handled the emergency landing of a US military aircraft in western Siberia, according to the Pentagon.
The sudden incident occurred on Wednesday when the landing gear of a US observation flight broke down and the plane had to make an unplanned and emergency landing in a Russian airstrip near the Chinese border.
On this mission, the US aircraft — with Russian observers on board — took off to start its designated observation flight plan, but the aircraft landing gear did not retract.
The US commander, in cooperation with the Russian escort crew on board diverted the aircraft to Khabarovsk “so the aircraft could exit Russia in the most direct route possible,” Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Michelle L. Baldanza told international news channel. “Due to aircraft performance limitations associated with summer temperatures and the landing gear malfunction, the Khabarovsk runway represented the only safe location to land.”
That airfield is not normally used under the treaty for US aircraft to exit out of Russia. However, the Russian on-board crew verified that no imagery was collected during the flight and the aircraft then flew on to Japan, where it is being repaired.