Damaged Air Serbia plane

What caused the Air Serbia plane incident at Belgrade Airport?

A passenger jet with 106 people on board of Air Serbia returned safely to the Belgrade airport. It hit runway equipment and sustained severe damage shortly after takeoff. This happened on February 18, 2024. According to the airline, media and airline blogs, there were no injuries.

The Embraer E-195 was on route to Dusseldorf in Germany on Sunday afternoon. The aircraft belongs to Greek charter company Marathon Airlines. It is currently operating several aircraft on behalf of Serbian national carrier, Air Serbia, on long-term basis.

Live tracker Flightradar24 said the flight JU324 lined up at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport on one of the intersecting taxiways more than halfway down the runway, indicating it did not have enough distance for a safe takeoff.

During its departure, the aircraft’s left side was badly damaged when it struck the opposing runway’s instrument landing system array not far from a busy highway.

Video footage show a large gaping hole and tear on the fuselage at the base of the left wing. The tail section is also damaged. Firefighters sprayed the fuselage with foam as fuel appeared to be leaking from the damaged aircraft.

The plane struggled to gain height. The aircraft shook as it entered a holding pattern for about an hour before returning to land safely at the Belgrade airport, Serbian media said, quoting passengers. The passengers were escorted off the aircraft. AirSerbia told them that the flight returned because of technical reasons and that their lives were never in danger.

The airport was closed for a while that day and incoming planes were diverted to other airports.

Blackbox of Air Serbia plane sent to the US

Embraer engineers from Brazil, as well as a team from Greece, are in Belgrade to help dismount the blackbox. United States experts will analyze it.

“We will pair the data with the information we already have, obtained through interviews with the flight crew, cabin crew, and air traffic control, to give us a complete picture of what happened”, the Head of CINS, Nebojša Petrović, says.

According to ExYuAviation: “What the center does is investigates such events, in order to determine the causes that led to an accident. The report that emerges as a result of our work will reduce the possibility of such accidents in the future”.

Often referred to as a blackbox, the flight recording includes both the flight data recorder, which records instructions sent to any electronic systems on an aircraft, as well as the cockpit voice recorder, which records sounds in the cockpit including conversation of the pilots.

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