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Pilots Get Hero Awards

Captain Yevgeny Novoselov presenting President Dmitry Medvedev with a model of a Tu-154 airplane similar to the one he and eight other crew members successfully emergency landed in the Komi region in Alexander Natruskin

President Dmitry Medvedev has awarded the country's highest award to the Tu-154 pilots who made an emergency landing at an abandoned, unmapped airstrip in the Komi republic taiga in September without any injuries among the 81 passengers and crew.

"Because of bravery, professionalism and self-control, they were able to make an emergency landing at absolutely unused facilities and to save the lives of the passengers,” Medvedev said at a ceremony where he presented pilots Yevgeny Novoselov and Andrei Lomanov with the Hero of Russia awards, RIA-Novosti reported.

Medvedev presented awards for bravery to seven other crew members, including two female flight attendants.

The Tu-154 jet operated by Alrosa airline was flying from the Sakha republic to Moscow's Domodedovo Airport when it lost electrical power.

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