Pilots blame motor failure for plane skidding off runway in Turkey’s Trabzon airport
TRABZON – Doğan News Agency
The pilots of the airplane, which skidded off the runway of an airport in the Black Sea province of Trabzon late on Jan. 13, have told the authorities in their initial testimonies that the right aircraft engine had “accelerated” all of a sudden after landing, causing the plane to skid leftwards.
“The plane made a normal landing. Once we came to the end of the runway, we tried to maneuver to the right. Just as we were about to maneuver, the right aircraft engine started to accelerate. The plane should have gone right, but because of the right engine, it suddenly started going leftwards and went down the slope in the direction of the [Black] Sea,” the pilots were reported to have told officials.
On Jan. 13, the Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800, which had taken off smoothly from the capital Ankara, made a normal landing at the Trabzon airport, but went off the runway just meters from the waters of the Black Sea and had its wheels stuck in the mud. Luckily, no one was injured or killed in the landing.
The authorities have not yet released an official statement into the cause of the accident, but the Trabzon Chief Prosecutor’s Office has already started an investigation into the incident.
The pilots, who were questioned by the prosecutor’s office over the incident, were also subject to breathalyzer tests, which they both passed.
The 62-year-old pilot Ender B., with 41 years of experience, told the prosecutor’s office that there was “nothing wrong” with the plane as they left the Ankara Esenboğa Airport.
“[During landing], the runway was visible and clear. The second pilot made the landing. After a normal landing, the plane did not stop. When it did not stop, I automatically took control. I applied the brakes but the plane went left. When I applied the brakes once again, the plane went off the runway to the left. The plane’s right engine began to accelerate all of a sudden involuntarily,” Ender B., the flight captain, told officials.
Meanwhile, the country’s civil aviation authority has obtained the plane’s black box and is currently analyzing it. Trabzon’s airport was closed for some time but is now operating normally.
The Boeing firm representatives will reportedly come to the airport to conduct an analysis at the scene of the incident. The plane was reported to have been in operation for the last five years.