Six years after a Boeing 737-800 passenger plane veered off course during landing in Trabzon province in the Karadeniz region, the trial continues for the two pilots involved, who are pointing fingers at each other for the incident.
The accident, involving a Pegasus Airlines flight, occurred in 2018 during the landing at Trabzon Airport. The plane, carrying 162 passengers and a crew of six, wedged into a hillside just 25 meters from the sea.
Ten passengers filed complaints related to the accident, while others reached a settlement with the company. Pilots Ender B. (68) and İrfan Y. (52) face charges of “causing injury to multiple individuals through negligence,” with a potential prison sentence of up to three years.
According to reports, the trial resumed in Trabzon where the attorneys for the pilots made their defense arguments during the second hearing of the case, claiming that no passengers were injured and asserting their clients’ innocence.
Representing Captain Pilot Ender B., Attorney Salim Baki argued, “The second pilot performs the landing. It is clear that my client warned the co-pilot. My client, Ender B., is a captain who saved the lives of 168 people.” Moreover, he criticized the insufficient distance of the runway at Trabzon Airport, suggesting that it was a contributing factor leading to the incident.
Attorney Hasan Özköse, representing First Officer İrfan Y., contended that a malfunction in the right engine caused a change in the aircraft’s direction after landing. He also claimed that the captain pilot assumed control without properly announcing “I have control,” as indicated in the cockpit voice recordings, therefore requesting the dismissal of the case.