Pilot in Istanbul airport crash arrested
Turkish authorities have arrested the captain of a plane that crashed earlier this month at an Istanbul airport killing three passengers, state-run Anadolu Agency said on Feb. 24.
The Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737 ran off the runway at Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport on Feb. 5, crashed into a ditch and broke apart while lending in bad weather. Officials said it was a drop of 30 to 40 meters.
Some 180 passengers and crew members were injured in the crash that saw passengers scramble through the split fuselage to escape.
Two pilots of the plane were each questioned following the crash. Anadolu Agency said prosecutors investigating the crash interrogated the pilot following his discharge from a hospital where he had been treated. A court in Istanbul later ordered the pilot, identified only as M.A., arrested pending trial, Anadolu said.
The crash happened as the 11-year-old aircraft landed in strong winds and heavy rain. U.S. aviation investigators have also inspected the wreckage to see if there were any technical factors that could have contributed to the accident.
Pegasus has had several recent instances of overshooting runways.
Another Pegasus Airlines plane skidded off the runway at the same airport on Jan. 7, causing the temporary closure of the airport. There were no injuries.
In January 2018, another Boeing 737 in the Pegasus fleet slid off a runway at Trabzon Airport in northeastern Turkey. The plane came to rest in the dirt above the Black Sea with its nose pointed toward the water. No one was injured.