The pilots of the Pegasus jet, which skidded off Trabzon airport runway late on Saturday 13 January, have told the authorities in their initial testimonies that the right aircraft engine had “accelerated” suddenly 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 manoeuvre to the right. Just as we were about to manoeuvre, the right-hand aircraft engine started to accelerate. The plane should have gone right, but because of the right-hand engine, it suddenly started going leftwards and went down the slope in the direction of the sea,” the pilots were reported to have told officials.
On Saturday, the Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800, which had taken off smoothly from Ankara, made a normal landing at the Trabzon airport, but went off the runway just metres from the waters of the Black Sea ending up with its wheels stuck in the mud. Luckily, no one was injured or killed in the landing.
No official statement has been released, so far, by the authorities regarding the incident. However, the Trabzon Chief Prosecutor’s Office has already begun an investigation into the accident.
Both pilots were questioned by the prosecutor’s office over the incident, and took breathalyser 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 analysing it. Trabzon’s airport was closed for some time after the accident took place but is now operating normally.
It is reported that Boeing company representatives will come to the airport to conduct an investigation at the scene of the incident. The plane is said to have been in operation for the past five years.