A passenger jet that shot off a Turkish runway and nearly ended up in the sea span off course when its right-hand engine mysteriously surged in power, pilots revealed, as terrifying footage showing panic on board has been revealed.
The plane, carrying 168 people, came within metres of plunging into the Black Sea on Sunday after it skidded off the tarmac while landing at Trabzon Airport.
Panic spread through the Boeing 737-800 as it came to a halt with its nose pointing precariously down a cliff. Incredibly, flight PC8622’s wheels became stuck in icy mud, which may have prevented it from entering the sea.
In a video recorded just after the crash, horrified passengers can be heard screaming in fear as orders are shouted over an intercom.
Meanwhile babies can be heard wailing desperately as panic spreads during the evacuation.
The pilot, co-pilot and crew have now made statements to Trabzon prosecutors and both pilots passed breathalyser tests, local media said. But the pilot revealed the right engine ‘suddenly gained speed’ for unknown reasons as the plane was landing.
‘When we were going to make our usual manoeuvre towards the right from the seaside by reducing our speed, the right engine suddenly gained speed for a reason we do not know,’ the pilot was quoted as telling the prosecutors.
‘Due to this speed, the plane got out of our control and suddenly swung to the left and got stuck into the mud in the cliff.’
It is still not clear what caused the sudden surge in power from the right engine. Images published by Dogan showed that one of the engines had fallen into the water.
The pilot said that passengers were ordered to leave the plane by the back door without taking personal belongings, followed by the crew and finally the pilots themselves.
Turkey’s civil aviation authority will meanwhile examine the plane’s black box. Trabzon’s airport was closed for a time but is now operating normally.
Dogan news agency said that work to remove the plane from its current position would begin later in the day.
Pegasus Airlines confirmed in a statement yesterday that there were no injuries among the 162 passengers on board as well as two pilots and four cabin crew after they were evacuated.
Shocking footage from inside the Pegasus plane taken just moments after the crash shows passengers evacuating as women and children are heard crying out in fear.
The aircraft’s left jet engine was also ripped from its wing during the crash.
Bodies fill the central aisle of the aircraft and stewards can be heard addressing passengers over a loud speaker system. The dramatic footage appears to show smoke billowing from the cabin.
Another clip taken from outside the aircraft shows fire services dousing the plane with jets of water.
We tilted to the side, the front was down while the plane’s rear was up. There was panic. People shouting, screaming,’ she told state-run news agency Anadolu.
The airport was temporarily shut before reopening on Sunday morning.
Trabzon Airport shut and flights were delayed or cancelled as passengers from the flight were evacuated.
Trabzon governor Yucel Yavuz confirmed that all of the passengers and crew on board escaped uninjured, saying: ‘We’ve taken all necessary measures. We will reopen the airport to air traffic as soon as possible’.
Mediabites editorial – Courtesy: MailOnline