Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737 Runway Excursion Down a Cliff

26 Jan 18 5 Comments

On the 13th of January 2018 at 18:25 UTC, Pegasus Airlines flight PC 8622 veered off of the runway at Trabzon Airport in Turkey. Trabzon Airport is on the edge of the Black Sea. Flight 8622 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight from Ankara, the capital of Turkey, to Trabzon. There were 162 passengers and six crew on board.

This has hit international news because the photographs are very striking (and because there’s generally not a lot of aviation news on a Saturday night).

Pegasus Airline Boeing 737 runway excursion Trabzon

The Boeing 737-82R landed normally on runway 11 but then veered off to the left near the end of the runway. The aircraft slid about 60 metres/200 feet down a cliff before the landing gear dug into the muddy ground. The aircraft came to a rest near the water’s edge. Amazingly, there were no injuries among the passengers and crew.

An aerial video of the aircraft resting on the side of the cliff was filmed by local news, showing just how close this came to being a disastrous crash.

Pegasus Airline Announcement

We’re sorry to report that the Boeing 737-800 type TC-CPF registered aircraft of Pegasus Airlines Flight Number PC 8622 Ankara-Trabzon flight scheduled at 18:25 UTC tonight, had a Runway Excursion Incident during landing at Trabzon Airport (13 January 2018). All 162 passengers, 2 pilots and 4 cabin crew have been disembarked safely from the aircraft. There has been no loss of life or injury to anyone on-board.

Trabzon’s governer has confirmed that an investigation is in progress. The Accident Investigation Board of the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications are the relevant authority. Unfortunately, it seems that they do not publish their incident and accident investigation reports, even though Turkey is a member of ICAO.

So far, the flight crew were tested for intoxication and interviewed about the landing.

I particularly like the sound of the sea and waves in this video.

Pegasus TC-CPF B737 Pistten Çıktı – Trabzon from Erhan Aydoğdu on Vimeo.

It was raining at the time and the runway was wet; local media reports that the aircraft had difficulties braking. According to Aviation Herald, the flight crew reported an engine issue.

The flight crew reported the flight was normal until after touch down with the first officer being pilot flying, deceleration was slow due to the wet runway, the controls were handed to the captain, the captain applied brakes, the aircraft turned left, the aircraft went off the runway, the right hand engine suddenly accelerated in forward thrust unintentionally. The aircraft went over the cliff and dropped, the right hand engine separated and fell into the sea. The aircraft came to a stop, the crew alerted tower and emergency services responded arriving in a short time.

On the 18th of January, two cranes lifted the aircraft from the cliffside. Local media were on hand and live streamed the entire event. The aircraft sustained major damage as it slid, including the right engine detaching and landing in the Black Sea.

I found this video, which shows the Boeing 738 as it comes up to the flat area on the side of the runway, to really give a sense of the size and the weight of the airliner.

The airline confirmed this week that the aircraft is out of service and will be written off.

I am hoping that, as this has received such widespread attention, the accident report will be published and made available in English. At the very least, I would love to know what happened with the right engine!


  • One of those cases where it would be totally inappropriate to comment.
    This looks very much like there might well have been a technical issue.
    We, readers of Sylvia’s excellent blogs, must wait until there is more concrete information available, e.g. accident reports.

  • Awaiting accident report but it seems most likely that both engines were spooled up and the right-hand thrust reversers failed to deploy resulting in a terrifying surprise for the flight crew.

  • Harrow,
    Thanks for that.
    Agreed, that could explain what happened. With one engine “full steam ahead” and the other with full reverse deployed, the aircraft would become uncontrollable in a split second.
    I have been trained by some pilots who might, just might, have been able to recover. One was a test pilot with Aerospatiale, Robert Briot, whose licence had only one single type rating: “Any aircraft”.
    The other guy was Victor Ostapenko, a Russian test pilot who put me through the paces on, incidentally, a Yak 52.
    He had actually flown the Russian space shuttle before the project was abandoned. And was extremely modest about his accomplishments.
    And another memorable one was a (then) retired USAF colonel, Martin J. “Barney” Barnard, a former fighter ace who had survived active combat service in WW II, Korea and Vietnam. He taught me how to perform barrel rolls in a Citation.
    These guys had truly incredible reflexes.
    An aircraft I once flew, a Lear 25D, came to it’s end when, just before touch-down when landing, one engine went totally out of control and delivered more than 50% of it’s normally rated power. The other, left, engine was operating normally but understandably the crew thought that the GOOD engine was the one that had failed and shut it down.
    With one engine burning itself out and the other shut, the crew had no hope of recovering and the aircraft spun out of control.
    Different situation perhaps, but the result may have been similar: a freak occurrence. The main difference was that there was no nasty downslope leading directly to the sea beside the runway.
    But there was no loss of life, in neither case.
    Awaiting the official reports, but it would appear that the crew were blameless.

  • One more comment:
    Watching the videos of the salvage operation, it strikes me that this was carried out in a truly outstandingly professional way.

  • Correction:
    The Learjet I flew (I was not on duty when it happened) developed a fault that caused the starboard engine to deliver nearly TWICE, not half it’s normally rated power, in other words at least 50 percent MORE.
    Of course the engine burned itself out quickly but whilst it happened the understandable initial reaction of the crew was that the PORT engine had failed. Flying at approach speed, with the port engine shut-down and the starboard one delivering far more than it’s normal maximum the aircraft was instantly uncontrollable.

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