Overview of the Incident

On February 18, 2024, an Embraer E195 aircraft, operated by Marathon Airlines on behalf of Air Serbia, encountered a significant incident during takeoff at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG). The flight, designated as JU324, was en route to Dusseldorf (DUS) when it struck an Instrument Landing System (ILS) antenna array at the end of the runway. Despite the collision, the aircraft managed to become airborne and subsequently returned to the airport for a safe emergency landing. There were no injuries reported among the passengers and crew onboard.

Details of the Takeoff Incident

The Embraer E195, bearing the registration OY-GDC, commenced its takeoff roll from an intersection, utilizing a remaining distance of 4,175 ft (1,273 m) on runway 30L. The aircraft failed to achieve liftoff within the hard surface of the runway and overran the end by approximately 3,600ft (1,100 m), colliding with an ILS equipment assembly located beyond the runway’s end. This collision resulted in substantial damage to the aircraft, particularly visible on the left wing. Following the incident, the aircraft’s climb was halted at 4,000 feet (1,219m), and it entered a holding pattern to reduce its weight for a safe landing.

Aircraft and Airport Information

The involved Embraer E195 is a 15-year-old aircraft, initially delivered to Flybe in August 2008. Configured in a single-class 118-seat layout, it is one of four of this type leased by Air Serbia from Marathon Airlines. The aircraft currently operates in Air Serbia’s color scheme. Runway 12R/30L, the site of the incident, is the second and newest runway at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, having opened in July 2023. Due to the damage to the ILS equipment, the runway’s ILS category was downgraded from Category III to Category I.

Passenger Experience and Safety Measures

Passengers aboard flight JU324 reported experiencing a shake immediately after takeoff, followed by approximately an hour of holding before returning to Belgrade. They were quickly deboarded upon landing and informed of a minor incident, though the visible damage to the aircraft suggested otherwise. This event underscores the importance of stringent safety measures and emergency protocols in ensuring the safety and well-being of passengers and crew in unexpected situations.

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