police open criminal investigation into Riga airport accident
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.