An Air Berlin Boeing 737-800 plane has slid off the runway at snowy Dortmund Airport in Germany after aborting take-off.
The plane with 165 people onboard attempted to take-off on the first Sunday morning of the year 2010, heading to the Canary Islands on January 3rd, but according to the pilot, they detected some technical problems in the cockpit while accelerating. Due to the wintery conditions, the plane was unable to come to a complete stop on the tarmac and slid off the runway. No passengers or crew got hurt, all passengers disembarked the plane safely through the rear-doors of the aircraft using regular stairs, even as it lay nose-down on an embankment. The plane is undamaged.
The Air Berlin spokeswoman said that the pilot had followed procedures correctly during the incident, which is believed to have been caused by a malfunctioning speedometer in the Boeing where the Captain and the co-pilot were being shown different speeds. The airline is now examining if the airport services could have been at fault for the accident, they are investigating, whether the surface was completely de-iced.
A spokesman for Dortmund airport said that following the incident the runway had been closed to allow the recovery of the aircraft, the Air Berlin passengers were flown to Las Palmas from the nearby Paderborn airport, with another aircraft.
The plane is the third Boeing 737-800 to leave the runway in recent weeks. On December 22, an American Airlines flight from Washington left the runway as it landed in Kingston, Jamaica, in heavy rain. In that case, the fuselage cracked open, the left main landing gear collapsed and the nose was crushed as the plane stopped at the ocean’s edge. There were no deaths, but many passengers needed hospital treatment in that accident. On December 23, a RyanAir Boeing 737-800 with 129 people on board skidded off the runway while taxiing at Glasgow Prestwick airport after hitting a patch of ice.