Wednesday 21 February 2024

Passenger jet hits runway equipment on takeoff

An Air Serbia E195 suffered extensive damage after remaining on the ground for a long distance past the end of the runway, before lifting off. This accident happened on Sunday the 18th of February. It involved flight JU-324, departing from Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG/LYBE) in Serbia. This is a regular flight, to Dusseldorf International Airport (DUS/EDDL) in Germany. Air Serbia changes between the Airbus A320 and the Embraer E190 or E195, to perform this service.

The visibility and other weather conditions don’t appear to have been a factor in this accident. The flight departed at 16:39 UTC, using runway 30L: The E195 flight crew of this Air Serbia flight intended to make an intersection departure on runway 30L. The tower controller reportedly cleared the crew to enter the runway using taxiway D6. However, the flight crew entered the runway at D5 instead.

Seeing this, the tower controller informed the crew and cleared them to backtrack to their intended departure point, abeam D6. Now fully aware of where they were, the crew announced that they could depart from their current position. The tower controller cleared the Air Serbia flight for takeoff and the E195 started rolling down the runway. At D5, the flight crew had approximately 1,273 meters (4,177 feet) of runway remaining. ADS-B data shows that the aircraft was still on the ground at least 500 meters (1,640 feet) past the runway.

This means that the Air Serbia flight rolled through approach lighting and other equipment, damaging the fuselage and wings of the E195. CCTV video at the airport shows that the aircraft suffered a tail strike just as it left the runway surface. After finally lifting off, the aircraft initially gained little altitude. The E195 crew stopped their climb at 4,000 feet. But despite telling ATC that they would return to Belgrade immediately, the flight would spend around 55 minutes in the air.

After working through their checklists and burning some fuel, the E195 pilots landed the Air Serbia flight safely back on runway 30L. The runway was still usable after the accident, however the damage to equipment precluded the possibility of performing CATIII landings.

The aircraft has remained on the ground ever since and seems to need substantial repairs before it can return to service. The E195 belongs to Marathon Airlines, who leased it to Air Serbia last October.

On the day of this accident, 106 passengers and crew were on board the aircraft. 

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Air Serbia
Code: JU/ASL
Aircraft: Embraer E195LR
Registration: OY-GDC
Serial Number: 19000204
Engine: 2 x GE CF34-10E7
First Flew: 10/01/2008
Age: 16.1 Months. 

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