LifestyleTerrifying moment as Avion Express plane skids off runway in Vilnius; no casualties

Terrifying moment as Avion Express plane skids off runway in Vilnius; no casualties

Dramatic landing in Vilnius
Dramatic landing in Vilnius
Images source: © @FL360aero, X
9:33 AM EST, February 5, 2024

It's well-established that most aeroplane accidents occur during takeoff and landing. Studies have shown that the chances of an air disaster increase by 80 per cent during these manoeuvres.

A nightmare landing in Vilnius

Passengers of the chartered Avion Express flight from Milan, Italy had a firsthand experience of this danger. The plane touched down in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, at 8:20 a.m. (ET) on Saturday, February 3.

According to the service, the plane subsequently skidded off the runway, an event that was captured on video and images that circulated across the internet. The Vilnius airport immediately suspended all arrivals and departures as a result.

Airport authorities reassured everyone that all passengers were safe, but the runway remained closed to all flights until 11:40 a.m. (ET). Incoming flights were redirected to airports in Kaunas and Palanga.

Reports indicate that there were 179 passengers and six crew members on board. The flight crew informed airport authorities that no one had been injured, and the pilot was able to regain control of the plane and steer it to a spot under a bridge, where passengers disembarked.

An anonymous passenger told, the plane first landed on the runway, then skidded onto the grass, before returning to the runway.

"When the plane hit the grass, mud started spraying on the windows, obscuring everything outside," added the witness.

This "fountain" of mud is distinctly visible in the images circulated on the internet.

The exact cause of the accident, specifically how the aircraft skidded off the runway, is still under investigation. According to Lithuanian Airports, the circumstances of the unusual accident are being examined, with the aim of clarifying the cause of the event.


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