SAS crash-landing in Vilnius

September 12, 2007 at 11:45 am 1 comment

SAS airplain in Vilnius airportThe BNS reported that a Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) plane with 48 passengers and four crew members on board crash-landed at Vilnius Airport early Wednesday due to a landing gear failure, but no one was seriously injured.  SAS said in a statement that the accident took place at 1:48 am local time.

“The pilots of the plane, which was heading from Copenhagen to (the Lithuanian seaside resort of) Palanga, noticed that the landing gear had failed and decided to make an emergency landing at Vilnius Airport because it has broader runaways,” Kestutis Auryla, the director of the Lithuanian Civil Aviation Administration, told BNS.

“The plane went off the runaway due to the defective right landing gear, but the landing was successful in the circumstances”, Auryla said.“All passengers and members of the crew were safely evacuated,” he added. As the BNS reported the Vilnius’ district prosecutor’s office started a pre-trial investigation of the incident that took place in Vilnius airport when Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) plane Dash 8-400 crash-landed on the night to Wednesday.Mr Sabatauskas’ leaving the airport

As a press representative of the prosecutors reported the investigation is based on article of the Penal Code, which foresees responsibility for improper maintenance or repair of transport modes.The law foresees elimination of the right to do some job or to do some activities or even imprisonment for up to 5 years.“It was landing in extreme conditions for the pilots, they did their job perfectly. When landing they switched off the engines one after another and even though there were sparks when sliding, fire was avoided,” head for investigation of airplanes crashes and incidents of the Communication Ministry Kestutis Povilonis.

The airport resumed its normal work only at 0900, local time when the first plane landed in Vilnius. Until then only take-offs were allowed.“The SAS plane has been pulled some 50 meters aside from the incident location. It stays in the territory of Vilnius airport, but makes no obstructions for traffic of other airplanes,” Kestutis Povilonis told BNS. Because of the failure of the right gear, the SAS plane slid for some 27 meters off the runaway.The Swedish and Danish embassies’ consular teams were at the scene.  The head of the influential Lithuanian Parliament’s Committee Mr Sabatauskas was also on the plain, who said after emerging from the Airport ‘I concider this day to be the luckyest day in my life.’  As it was noted this was the most serious incedent since Lithuania regained its independece 17 years ago.

This is the second incident involving a SAS Dash 8-400 plane this week. On Sunday, an SAS Dash 8-400 crash-landed at Aalborg airport in Denmark when the landing gear collapsed. None of 73 passengers on board was seriously injured.

SAS on Tuesday said it would inspect all of its Dash 8-400 fleet, but after Vilnius incident decided to halt all flights with the aircraft.

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Entry filed under: Baltic States, Denmark, Lithuania, Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Sweden.

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