po­lice open crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Riga air­port ac­ci­dent

The Baltic Times - - FRONT PAGE - BNS/TBT Staff

Latvia’s po­lice have started a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into an ac­ci­dent in which a Vim Air­lines plane skid­ded off the run­way at Riga In­ter­na­tional Air­port last Fri­day, Fe­bru­ary 17.

VIM Air­lines char­ter flight NN 9945 was about to bring Lada, a Rus­sian ice hockey team based in Toly­atti, to its next game, and was cleared for take-off from run­way 18.

At a point very early in the take-off run, when en­gines were about to spool-up, the air­craft be­gan to drift side­ways, yaw­ing to the right side. The pi­lots even­tu­ally lost di­rec­tional con­trol un­til the 737 de­parted paved sur­face and rolled over soft ground.

Po­lice rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ilze Jure­vica elab­o­rated that the crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion was started over a vi­o­la­tion of air traf­fic safety, air­craft op­er­a­tion rules, or de­lib­er­ate op­er­a­tion of a tech­ni­cally im­paired air­craft. Such an of­fense car­ries a jail term of up to three years, com­mu­nity ser­vice or a fine.

The crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings have been started over the fact of the ac­ci­dent, and no ar­rests have been made in the case as yet.

The run­way was closed down for sev­eral hours and ex­am­ined for tech­ni­cal is­sues. No one was in­jured.

Af­ter an aborted take-off at Riga, the Boe­ing 737 failed to stop within the length of the run­way. It ended in mud. No one was in­jured.

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