Pilots of a passenger jet that almost plunged into the sea after skidding off a runway during landing in northern Turkey claimed the plane's engine malfunctioned.
In their initial testimony to investigators, the two pilots on the Pegasus Airlines flight from Ankara to the city of Trabzon said the right engine "gained speed suddenly" before the plane veered off over the seaside cliff with its 162 passengers late Saturday.
The incident took place after landing during maneuvers to park the plane. The plane ended up stuck in mud on a steep cliff, barely 25 meters away from the Black Sea.
The pilots told investigators that the engine fault threw the plane off direction and made it hurl off the cliff.
Authorities are still investigating the exact cause of the accident, while both pilots tested negative for alcohol consumption.
Meanwhile, a special crane was transported to the area where the airplane was still stuck in the mud as of yesterday.
None of the passengers or crewmembers was hurt, and they were evacuated to safety soon after the incident.
Investigators are now examining the plane's flight recorder - better known as the black box. Authorities have retrieved the right engine of the plane that the pilots said malfunctioned after it tore off from the plane's wing during the accident and got thrown into the sea.