Russian pilot who saved 233 passengers in 'miracle' landing speaks out: 'I didn't feel any fear'

The Russian pilot who saved 233 passengers after a flock of birds flew into both of his plane's engines has now received his nation's highest medal, according to the Associated Press.

Ural Airlines captain Damir Yusupov was taking off from Moscow's Zhukovsky International Airport Thursday when a group of seagulls collided with the plane. The 41-year-old pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in a nearby cornfield, safely bringing the plane down with zero casualties. 

Though several dozen people aboard Yusupov's flight reported mild injuries, only one required hospitalization. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Yusupov the Hero of Russia medal on Friday, praising his heroics in what state media has referred to as a "miracle" landing. Twenty-three-year-old co-pilot Georgy Murzin received the same award. 

Yusupov spoke to Russian TV about the incident, but he said the accolades were somewhat embarrassing.

"It feels odd and I'm shy," he said.

RELATED: Scenes from the emergency landing outside of Moscow 

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In this video grab provided by the RU-RTR Russian television, a Russian Ural Airlines' A321 plane is seen after an emergency landing in a cornfield near Ramenskoye, outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. Russian Ural Airlines' A321, carrying 226 passengers and a crew of seven, collided with a flock of birds while taking off Thursday rfom Moscow's Zhukovsky airport. Russian health authorities said that 23 people, including five children, have been hospitalized with injuries. (RU-RTR Russian Television via AP)
In this file image taken from a video distributed by Russian Investigative Committee, Investigative Committee employees works at a crash site of a Russian Ural Airlines' A321 plane is seen after an emergency landing in a cornfield near Ramenskoye, outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. The Russian pilot was being hailed as a hero Thursday for safely landing his passenger jet in a corn field after it collided with a flock of gulls seconds after takeoff, causing both engines to malfunction. While dozens of people on the plane sought medical assistance, only one was hospitalized. (The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation via AP)
En esta imagen tomada de un video proporcionado por la cadena de televisión rusa RU-RTR, un avión A321 de la aerolínea rusa Ural Airlines se encuentra en medio de un maizal después de realizar un aterrizaje de emergencia cerca de Ramenskoye, en las afueras de Moscú, Rusia, el jueves 15 de agosto de 2019. (RU-RTR Russian Television vía AP)
A Russian Ural Airlines' A321 plane is seen after an emergency landing in a cornfield near Ramenskoye, outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. Russian Ural Airlines' A321, carrying 226 passengers and a crew of seven, collided with a flock of birds while taking off Thursday rfom Moscow's Zhukovsky airport. Russian health authorities said that 23 people, including five children, have been hospitalized with injuries. (Denis Voronin, Moscow News Agency via AP)
A Russian Ural Airlines' A321 plane is seen after an emergency landing in a cornfield near Ramenskoye, outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. Russian Ural Airlines' A321, carrying 226 passengers and a crew of seven, collided with a flock of birds while taking off Thursday from Moscow's Zhukovsky airport. Russian health authorities said that 23 people, including five children, have been hospitalized with injuries. (Andrei Nikerichev, Moscow News Agency photo via AP)
A view shows the Ural Airlines A321 plane after a hard landing on a corn field near Moscow's Zhukovsky airport on August 15, 2019. - A Russian pilot was being hailed as a hero on August 15, 2019 for landing an Airbus carrying more than 230 people in a Moscow corn field after a bird strike. (Photo by Yuri KADOBNOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A view shows the Ural Airlines A321 plane after a hard landing on a corn field near Moscow's Zhukovsky airport on August 15, 2019. - A Russian pilot was being hailed as a hero on August 15, 2019 for landing an Airbus carrying more than 230 people in a Moscow corn field after a bird strike. (Photo by Yuri KADOBNOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Police officers stand guard near the site of hard landing of the Ural Airlines A321 plane on a corn field near Moscow's Zhukovsky airport on August 15, 2019. - A Russian pilot was being hailed as a hero on August 15, 2019 for landing an Airbus carrying more than 230 people in a Moscow corn field after a bird strike. (Photo by Yuri KADOBNOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Police officers stand guard near the site of hard landing of the Ural Airlines A321 plane on a corn field near Moscow's Zhukovsky airport on August 15, 2019. - A Russian pilot was being hailed as a hero on August 15, 2019 for landing an Airbus carrying more than 230 people in a Moscow corn field after a bird strike. (Photo by Yuri KADOBNOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A view shows the Ural Airlines A321 plane after a hard landing on a corn field near Moscow's Zhukovsky airport on August 15, 2019. - A Russian pilot was being hailed as a hero on August 15, 2019 for landing an Airbus carrying more than 230 people in a Moscow corn field after a bird strike. (Photo by Yuri KADOBNOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - AUGUST 15, 2019: An Airbus A321 plane of the Ural Airlines that has made a hard landing in a field near Zhukovsky International Airport due to an engine fire. Russian Investigative Committee/TASS (Photo by Russian Investigative Committee\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - AUGUST 15, 2019: An Airbus A321 plane of the Ural Airlines that has made a hard landing in a field near Zhukovsky International Airport due to an engine fire. Russian Investigative Committee/TASS (Photo by Russian Investigative Committee\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - AUGUST 15, 2019: An Airbus A321 plane of the Ural Airlines that has made a hard landing in a field near Zhukovsky International Airport due to an engine fire. Russian Investigative Committee/TASS (Photo by Russian Investigative Committee\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - AUGUST 15, 2019: An Airbus A321 plane of the Ural Airlines that has made a hard landing in a field near Zhukovsky International Airport due to an engine fire. Russian Investigative Committee/TASS (Photo by Russian Investigative Committee\TASS via Getty Images)
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - AUGUST 15, 2019: An Airbus A321 plane of the Ural Airlines that has made a hard landing in a field near Zhukovsky International Airport due to an engine fire. Russian Investigative Committee/TASS (Photo by Russian Investigative Committee\TASS via Getty Images)
Law enforcement officers at the site of a hard landing of an Airbus A321 aircraft of Ural Airlines, which flew from the Zhukovsky airport on a Moscow-Simferopol flight. August 15, 2019. Russia, Moscow region. Photo credit: Dmitry Dukhanin/Kommersant/Sipa USA
The place of hard landing of the Airbus A321 aircraft of Ural Airlines, flying from the Zhukovsky airport with the flight Moscow - Simferopol. August 15, 2019. Russia, Moscow region. Photo credit: Dmitry Dukhanin/Kommersant/Sipa USA
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"I didn't feel any fear," Yusupov told reporters in a televised interview Friday. "I saw a cornfield ahead and hoped to make a reasonably soft landing. I tried to lower vertical speed to make the plane land as smoothly as possible and glide softly."

The pilot, who has logged more than 3,000 hours of flight experience in his career, praised his cabin crew for their help. He also apologized to his passengers for failing to reach their intended destination — the city of Simferopol on the Crimean Peninsula.

"I wish a quick recovery to all those injured and I wish them not to be afraid of flying," Yusupov said.

The landing, which has been dubbed the "Miracle Over Ramensk," has been compared to the 2009 "Miracle on the Hudson," in which U.S. Airways captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger saved ever passenger aboard a flight carrying 155 people.

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