Turkish Airlines Plane Skids Off New York Runway During Snowstorm

Feb. 13, 2006
None of the 197 passengers were injured. The airport had been closed earlier in the day as New York was hit by a record-breaking snowstorm.

A Turkish Airlines flight skidded off a runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport Sunday, but none of the 197 passengers were injured.

Turkish Airlines flight 1 skidded off the runway at 9:20 p.m. Sunday (0220GMT Monday) as it was landing, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The flight was arriving from someplace in Turkey, he said.

The airport had been closed earlier in the day as New York was hit by a record-breaking snowstorm, and the flight was one of only a few that had been running, Coleman said.

"Most airlines had canceled flights for the day," he said.

The Airbus 340 plane had been turning off the runway onto a taxiway when it skidded into a spin, said Jim Peters, a New York spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

"It basically spun itself around and wound up 180 degrees from the direction in which it had been rolling," Peters said.

It was too early to say for certain whether icy conditions had caused the incident, and an FAA investigation would be conducted, he said.

In a statement, Turkish Airlines said Monday that bad weather conditions caused the airplane to skid.

"The weather will be considered, and we'll talk to the crew. The surface of the runway is one of the things that we'll look at," Peters said.

The weather made it difficult for crews to tow the plane off the runway following the incident, he said. Passengers were taken off the aircraft more than an hour afterward.

Coleman said the plane's pilot would have been responsible for deciding whether or not to land the plane, and the airline would have made the call not to cancel the flight.

The Port Authority is responsible for clearing the runways and taxiways, Peters said.

All three of the region's major airports were closed for a time Sunday after the record storm blanketed the city in more than two feet (60 centimeters) of snow. Tens of thousands of air travelers were stranded.

The airports were up and running by Monday morning, although more cancellations were expected during the day.

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