Suddenly, everything came to a halt at the airport of Naxos. The reason was an ATR 42 of Sky Express blocking the runway. The pilots had previously maneuvered it into an unfortunate situation.
Measuring only 901 metres, the runway of Naxos Island National Airport is quite short. That’s why pilots really make sure to backtrack all the way to the beginning of the runway before turning their plane around. And sometimes they even use reverse thrust to roll a little backwards and gain another meter or two.
This was the fate of flight GQ405 from Naxos to Athens on Friday (July 12th). As the local newspaper Naxospress reports, the pilots of the Sky Express ATR 42 rolled off the runway during the so called powerback. The main landing gear slipped over the edge and got stuck in the embankment. Naxos airport therefore had to be closed until Saturday morning. Only then could the aircraft be freed from its unfortunate location.
ATR offers quick starters
901 meters of runway are actually too short for ATR 42s. The French-Italian turboprop manufacturer states a minimum starting distance of 1050 meters. The new ATR 42-600S is a stol variant (Stol = Short Take-Off and Landing) that only needs 900 meters when fully loaded or 800 meters with a lighter load. Sky Express can therefore not take off in Naxos at maximum takeoff weight with its ATR 42.
In the picture gallery above you can see pictures of the incident on Naxos.