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Belgrade: plane hits light system

Considerable damage to Marathon Airlines E-195 fuselage, wing and tail

Fear and then a sigh of relief among the passengers on board a plane which, taking off from Belgrade airport, collided with the light signaling system. The national airline of Air Serbia guaranteed that "the safety of passengers has never been compromised", reads a press release. No one was injured among the travelers or the crew on board but there was considerable damage to the fuselage, wing and tail.

This is the reconstruction of the incident: an Embraer E-195 plane of the Greek airline Marathon Airlines (operating on behalf of Air Serbia) had taken off from Belgrade's "Nikola Tesla" airport for the German airport of Düsseldorf (flight JU324). However, immediately after the plane lifted off the asphalt of the runway it hit the Localiser system, that is the light poles that provide pilots with landing indications.

The causes of the inconvenience, which occurred in the late afternoon of Sunday 18 February and provoked the closure of the airport for approximately an hour, are currently unknown. According to some media rumours, not denied by the local authorities, the commander would have made a mistake in the entry point onto the take-off runway: D5, which allows 1000 meters less space than D6 (2300 meters of runway). Furthermore, he would not have calculated well the minimum distances necessary for take-off.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency