I think this falls into the category of “all’s well that ends well,” but it’s certainly a pretty dramatic video!
Avion Express A320 takes off on the Vilnius runway
The incident occurred on Saturday, February 3, 2024, and involved Avion Express flight X98242 from Milan (BGY) to Vilnius (VNO). The flight was operated by a 12-year-old Airbus A320 with a registration code. LY-NVL, a former Wizz Air aircraft. For those unfamiliar, Avion Express is a Lithuanian charter airline that primarily operates flights on behalf of other airlines.
Anyway, the plane landed on Vilnius Airport’s runway 19 at around 2:19 pm local time. After landing, the aircraft veered to the right on soft ground, almost going off the runway. However, the pilots were able to straighten the plane and return it to the centerline of the runway.
The plane then managed to taxi to its destination without assistance. Incidents have never been more seamless in terms of getting to the gate. As you can imagine, the plane is completely disorganized and looks as if it was traveling off-road (or off the runway in this case). 😉
Unsurprisingly, about 30 hours after the accident, the plane is still on the ground in Vilnius. Perhaps this aircraft needs inspection, and perhaps the aircraft is damaged, but the availability of this aircraft is quite low, so there may not be another flight for some time. For example, since the beginning of this year, the jet has only operated a total of five flights.
Air traffic control audio of this incident
It might be funny (in a way) to joke that the pilots would have taxied to the arrival stand and acted as if nothing had happened, but things didn’t go that way.
VASAviation does an excellent job of recreating what happened in this incident, showing both the aircraft’s location and air traffic control audio.
Air traffic controller: “I saw you veer off the runway.”
Pilot: “I see, I see.”
Air traffic controller: “What kind of help do you need?”
Pilot: “We don’t need anything at the moment.”
Air Traffic Controller: “Can you taxi on your own? Or do you need some help?”
Pilot: “We can do it on our own.”
An Avion Express Airbus A320 veered off the runway at Vilnius Airport in heavy snow and ice conditions. Runway incursions happen often, but I’ve never seen such a smooth recovery, for better or for worse. The plane returns to the runway centerline and taxis to the arrival stand under its own power.
You wouldn’t know what happened, except that the plane looked insanely dirty.
What do you think about this A320 accident in Vilnius?