The cursed Istanbul serviceOn Sunday evening, a Jat Airways Boeing B737-300 on route from Belgrade to Istanbul made an emergency landing in Sofia after irregularities with one of the aircraft’s engines were noted by the pilot. The aircraft made an emergency landing at Sofia Airport at 19.01, local time. Passengers were later flown to Istanbul. However, over the next 48 hours wide scale media hype pursued, claiming that a piece of the fuselage flew into the engine which caught on fire and exploded mid air.
Yesterday, in Sofia, the aircraft was checked by Lufthansa technicians who concluded that there was no damage to the engine or fuselage. Reportedly, one of the engines produced unusual noise, followed by vibrations.
Serbia’s ministry for infrastructure said that the media has blown the incident out of proportion and that such incidents happen everywhere around world. Jat Airways said that its technical division will also check the entire aircraft in order to find the cause of the noise and vibrations. The airline states its pilot acted in line with protocol. There were a total of 56 passengers on board.
Starting 2010 all engines on Jat’s Boeing B737-300 fleet will be replaced. Only a few months ago one of Jat’s aircraft skidded off the runway at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. It was later concluded that the runway had a dent causing multiple aircraft to skid off it during heavy rain and storms.