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    Turkish Sky Airways charter flight lands mistakenly at Polish NATO base

    Hürriyet Haber
    18.08.2006 - 10:18 | Son Güncelleme:

    When a Turkish Sky Airways charter flight landed mistakenly at a NATO airbase in Poland this week, rather than at the airport it was supposed to land at in the Polish city of Poznan, authorities in Poland blamed the lack of English comprehension of the female Turkish pilot flying the Sky Airways plane. The unexpected landing of the Turkish plane at the Polish NATO base was enough cause for panic that authorities there sounded an emergency alarm.

    The Sky Airways flight, a Boeing 737, had left from Antalya, and was headed for Lawica Airport in Poland, when instead it touched down at the NATO base Krzesiny. Anti-terror squads immediately surrounded the plane on the airport's apron, and identity checks were carried out on the cabin, crew, and passengers of the wayward craft.

    Speaking after the incident, a spokesman for the NATO base said "The passengers were under great stress, because at first the crew was not able to communicate with us. The English of the pilot was not sufficient." According to the spokeman, the pilot of the Sky Airways flight had overshot the lighted runway of Lawica Airport, landing instead at the lighted runway of NATO base, despite warnings from the control tower attendants there.

    Speaking from Warsaw, other airport officials confirmed that the Sky Airways pilot and crew had been warned, but that they had ignored the warnings and proceeded with the landing at the NATO base.
     
    Speaking from Turkey, the head of the Turkish Pilots Foundation, Tuna Gurel, said that these sorts of incidents were "normal," noting that "the mistake lay with the control tower." Gurel said also that a Polish pilot who had happened to be on the flight went up to the cockpit of the Sky Airways flight to tell the crew that a similar mistake had occured with the crew of different plane earlier. The Polish pilot on board the flight reportedly told the crew of the Sky flight that the fault lay with the Polish control tower.

     

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