Greek ATR 42 lands in the embankment

At the airport of Naxos suddenly nothing happened. An ATR 42 from Sky Express blocked the runway. The pilots had previously maneuvered them into a predicament.

At 901 meters, the only runway at Naxos Island National Airport is quite short. That’s why pilots really drive right to the start of the runway before they start their plane. And sometimes they even use the thrust reverser to roll backwards a little and gain another one or two meters.

This was now fatal to the pilots of flight GQ405 from Naxos to Athens on Friday (12 July). As reported by the local newspaper Naxospress, the ATR 42 of Sky Express came namely in the reset maneuver with the main landing gear off the track and got stuck in an embankment. The airport of Naxos therefore had to be closed until Saturday morning. Only then could the machine be freed from the predicament.

ATR offers fast starters

901 meters of piste are actually too short for ATR 42. The Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer itself speaks of a minimum takeoff distance of 1050 meters. With ATR 42-600S he offers a Stol variant (Stol = Short Take-Off and Landing), which needs 900 meters fully occupied, with lighter load also 800 meters. Sky Express can therefore not start fully loaded in Naxos with their ATR 42.


901 > 900

So surely the runway is just above the limit?

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The stol variant needs 900 meters
The normal version needs 1050 meters

Oh, I see, I thought the ATR in this incident was the Stol Variant.

From what I can gather, it looks like everyone was “in it”. The company surely knew that they were sending an aeroplane which was not capable of taking off on such a short runway and the pilots knew that the runway is too short for the plane to takeoff safely.

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