Istanbul, Pegasus plane crash

Lightning could cause the crash of the Pegasus plane in Istanbul

The first conclusions about the plane crash that occurred a month ago in Istanbul, in which 3 passengers died, confirm that the plane was speeding and that the pilots acted late.

The Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure issued on March 11th the preliminary report on the plane crash of the Turkish airline Pegasus, which on February 5th went off the runway during the landing manoeuvre at the Sabiha Gökçen airport in Istanbul causing 3 deaths and dozens of injuries.

The report on flight PC 2193 between İzmir and Istanbul prepared by the Turkish Transport Security Investigation Centre, which has been handed over to the Istanbul prosecutor’s office investigating the incident, indicates that the plane was struck by lightning 6 minutes before landing, which could increase the stress level of the pilots, who were already facing a difficult manoeuvre due to bad weather.

It appears from the cabin recordings between the captain and his first officer that the pilots wanted to land as soon as possible and avoid any potential problem during the landing manoeuvre. “It is understood (from the recordings) that the pilots received permission to land (…) after the preparations were made, and that the landing occurred adequately despite the deviation on the descent route,” the report says.

However “the plane could not stop on the runway; first it crashed into the ILS (Instrumental Landing System) antennas, then into the surveillance booth, and finally fell through an area about 30 metres deep in front of the runway” , the document indicates, adding that the aircraft was going at 84 knots of speed.

The pilots tried to slow the plane down, but it was too late

According to the report, the pilots of the Pegasus plane did not use the handbrake for the first 6 seconds after the landing gear wheels touched the runway, so the plane did not slow down enough, and its speed was higher than normal for the push effect of the strong tailwind. Realising that the plane was not decelerating, the pilots then activated the handbrake and held it down until the runway ended.

After leaving the runway, the Pegasus plane collided with a concrete wall and the fences that surround the airport, and fell down a slope. The fall lasted for 50 metres causing the breakage in three parts of the aircraft, which also caught fire. The report points out that it should have been the first officer, and not the captain, who should had noticed the speeding of the aircraft: this caused the loss of a vital time to avoid the tragic outcome.