Statements taken as Istanbul’s plane crash killing three is investigated

World Faizah Kamal 10-Feb-2020
Turkey Pegasus Airlines
ID 170002347 © Jozsef Soos | Dreamstime.com

The flight recorder of the Boeing 737 plane that skidded off the runway at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport on February 5 will be examined in Europe. The aim of the examinations is to shed light on the accident which killed three passengers and injured 180 people, including all of the crew members.

The investigation commission, consisting of representatives from the Transport Safety Investigation Centre, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing, has applied to authorities in France and Germany demanding an examination of the plane’s flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR).

The commission abstained from getting help from the Turkish Airlines Technical Service because the operator of the plane, Pegasus, is the main rival company of the country’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines.

According to sources, in the inquiry based on the examination of the plane’s black box, answers to three main issues will be sought. The main issues include the communication between the pilots and the air traffic control (ATC) tower, wind speed around the airport and the state of the runway.

According to experts, the pilots and the ATC tower should have aborted the landing as the tail wind speed was well over the limits of the plane.

Under inclement weather conditions, the plane touched down on the second half of the wet runway and the brakes did not stop it.

Misjudging an automatic welcoming announce, many passengers had unfastened safety belts before the plane hurtled from a height of 30 metres, according to survivors.

The investigation commission is supposed to present a preliminary report in a month’s time.

The prosecutor’s office in Istanbul has taken statements from the two pilots of the plane, air traffic controllers, survivors. Statements have also been taken from the pilots of two other planes who aborted landings shortly before the Pegasus flight landed.