Sunday, 14 January 2018

So close to disaster..... a lucky escape for 168 people on PC8622

Only in the cold light of day can it be clearly seen what a lucky escape the passengers and crew of the Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800  had when the aircraft skidded off the runway at Trabzon Airport. 

Early indications seemed to point at a bird strike for the cause of this '"- a runway excursion incident" as Pegasus called it, although a full investigation is already underway. A retired air crash investigator told us that it didn't seem likely to be as a bird-strike incident as the aircraft appeared to be going at a relatively low speed as it exited the runway and slid down the cliff. 'Had it been going faster, some break up of the fuselage would be expected, increasing the possibility of loss of life.' 

The aircraft was flying from Ankara to Trabzon, with 168 passengers and crew onboard the flight late on Saturday night.  It is believed that everyone on board was evacuated safely, and the local provincial governor, Yucel Yavuz said confirmed that no injuries were reported. Mr Yavuz said the airport was closed for several hours while investigations took place.

According to the Erdogan Government controlled Anadolu news agency, there was panic on the aircraft when it skidded out of control on the runway. "We tilted to the side. The front was down while the plane's rear was up. There was panic, people shouting, screaming," a passenger Fatma Gordu was quoted as saying.  However, from a video shown by local media, from inside the aircraft after it came to a halt, it seems remarkably relatively calm and ordered. 

Pegasus Airlines issued the following statement -
We’re sorry to report that the Boeing 737-800 type TC-CPF registered aircraft of Pegasus Airlines Flight Number PC 8622 Ankara-Trabzon flight scheduled at 18:25 UTC tonight, had a Runway Excursion Incident during landing at Trabzon Airport (13 January 2018). All 162 passengers, 2 pilots and 4 cabin crew have been disembarked safely from the aircraft. There has been no loss of life or injury to anyone on-board.

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