Airliner Carrying Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black Makes Emergency Landing in Russia: VIDEO


A Virgin Atlantic airliner carrying British diver Tom Daley and his boyfriend, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black made an emergency landing in Russia earlier today, according to posts on social media made by the couple.

Daley_blackDaley tweeted: "Scary to emergency land in RUS after recent events, yet no word on what problem is after hour surrounded by fire engines #VirginAtlantic"

Black posted video on Facebook of the plane dumping fuel, writing: "EMERGENCY LANDING into a Russian town. This was our view over Mongolia. #VirginAtlantic #ScaryAsHell"

Watch Black's video, AFTER THE JUMP

Virgin Atlantic press office released a statement:

"Virgin Atlantic can confirm that the VS251 travelling from Shanghai to London Heathrow has diverted to Irkutsk Airport, Russia, as a precautionary measure due to a technical issue detected inflight. As standard procedure the aircraft disposed of excess fuel ahead of landing and the flight was met at the airport by the local emergency services.

The aircraft is currently on the ground and our customers are being looked after by our cabin crew. Our priority now is to ensure our customers resume their journey as soon as possible. Safety and security is always our top priority and we would like to thank passengers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The Airbus A340-600 aircraft is carrying 286 passengers and 15 crew. It departed Shanghai at 12:18 local time and was due to arrive at London Heathrow at 17:14 local time."



  1. Michael says

    Glad they are safe. However, given that during the period of a fuel dump passengers most certainly would be required to be in their seats and belted. This is an A340-600…and based upon the general configurations of that aircraft, this photo might suggest the pair of them were sitting in Economy. That may be the biggest news out of this story!

  2. David From Canada says

    This is unintentionally humorous – 2 very famous gay guys have to make an emergency landing in, of all places, anti-gay Russia.
    I hope the 2 young gents pull a gay Jesus and go out and spread the Gospel of goodwill, acceptance and love your neighbour to all.

  3. Andy says

    Glad they are okay, but shocked to see they were flying COACH! (You can tell from the photo that their seats were way behind the wing). Tom deserves at least business class.

  4. Paul says

    @lazycrockett: It’s not about demanding or expecting perks, it’s a matter of comfort. I’ve flown from SFO-SYD in coach and it’s pretty awful. Surely they could afford Business Class. Believe me, it makes a difference. Glad they’re okay. That’s really the important thing

  5. says

    Flying 1st class from Shanghai to London with a fabulous boyfriend! *Sigh* I could have had this life if only I had been talented, successful, good-looking, and had a personality that wasn’t like nails on a chalkboard!

  6. brian says

    Fuel dumps are pretty standard when there’s something that might threaten a safe landing like a landing gear malfunction or flight controls. Very curious to know what the malfunction was. Glad everyone’s ok. Good piloting.

  7. Derrick from Philly says

    LOL @ “…ooh, nice website. lilkiwisucksazz. had dee har.”

    LOL. Oh, my.

    I knew that first posting wasn’t yours.

    LOL. But you sure got him back…whoever the b1tch is.

    “…lilkiwisucksazz.” LOL

  8. EchtKultig says

    It’s actually strangely reassuring that they are thrifty enough to fly in coach. I’m guessing they might not have booked months ahead, and a business class fare from China to the UK is probably astonishingly expensive if purchased relatively close to the departure time.

  9. Paul R says

    I usually just shake my head at comments that criticize, this site and it contents, but the comments have so become so incessantly childish, pathetic, and repetitive that I won’t say I’m going to quit reading Towleroad. But after 7 or so years of regularly reading the comments—which at one time were as informative and engaging as the stories–I’m definitely giving up on that aspect of the site.

    A few people with severe personality issues have degraded this site’s perceived readership, and I would no longer admit to anyone that I was once an avid reader, much less regular contributor. It’s sad, but Andy has been aware of it for (literally) years and done nothing to temper it. So, bye.

  10. Rowan says

    Guys…why would these guys be wealthy?? A diver and an oscar winning screen writer of ‘intellectual’ and low grossing films??

    Come on now…do people who post here no nothing of business? Sometimes I feel the gay community comment section is soo naive…

    They got a new flat in London-it’s not cheap. AT ALL. And he still has his home in LA….not cheap AT ALL.

    Does Daley have any endorsements? And Lance Black hasn’t had a hit….or done anything for a while..

  11. Lefil says

    Tom is with his diving team. There is no way he is allowed to sit in business class while the rest of his team-mates sit in economy class.

  12. Putney says

    From the Virgin Atlanti Website:


    VS 251 has diverted to Irkutsk due to a technical problem. Please continue to monitor the flight status page for further information.

    VS251 Update 4 – 22 July 00:05 UK local time / 22 July 08:05 Irkutsk local time:

    Plans to fly everyone to the UK are well underway, an additional aircraft is now on route to Irkutsk and once that lands we hope to be operating two flights out of Irkutsk and into London Heathrow in the next 12 – 24 hours.

    We are still working out the confirmed departure times of the flights and will update this site and send SMS messages to those passengers with contact details in their bookings, as well as getting messages to the various hotels with these details and ground transport arrangements. We hope to have this information available for you at approximately 12 midday (local Irkutsk time) on Tuesday 22 July 2014

    Continue to stay in your hotels, and make use of the facilities charging items to your room. If you need any essential items that cannot be charged to your room please keep your receipts for reimbursement when you return home.

    We would like to thank everyone for their continued patience and understanding.

  13. BrokebackBob says

    God, Airbus planes are having lots of problems these days. Heaven help all the people on the monstrous A380 when one of those goes down.

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