Pilot arrested after plane skids off runway, killing three people

The pilot in charge of a plane that skidded off the runway earlier this month, killing three passengers and injuring over 100 more, has been arrested.

Pegasus Airlines flight PC2193, from Izmir on Turkey’s Aegean Coast to Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul, slid off the runway after a rough landing and crashed into a road.

Footage showed serious damage to the plane’s fuselage, which appeared to be cracked in three places.

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Three people lost their lives in the incident on 5 February, while 179 of the 183 passengers and crew on board were treated in hospitals across the region.

The pilot now faces charges of “involuntary manslaughter and causing injury,” according to Anadolu, Turkey’s state-run news agency.

Identified only as M.A., the pilot was interrogated by prosecutors investigating the crash after he was discharged from hospital, and was subsequently arrested pending trial.

Statements have been taken from air traffic control staff, airport employees and the pilots of two other aircraft who aborted landings just before flight PC2193’s ill-fated touch-down.

Conditions were difficult that day, with strong winds and heavy rain.

It followed a similar incident on 7 January, when a Pegasus plane skidded off the runway in Istanbul in heavy rain. 

The flight was en route from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul when it slid off the runway.

The low-cost Turkish airline said that an aircraft had “experienced a runway excursion”.

Footage of the plane showed that the emergency slides were deployed, but no one was injured in the incident.

The airport was temporarily shut, with all departures and arrivals, both international and domestic, cancelled.

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