JUST 20 minutes after take-off from Bratislava Airport, an aircraft carrying Defence Minister Martin Glváč to Paris had to make an emergency landing on July 14.

At an altitude of 1,200 metres, the pilot noted that one of the engines of the plane, a JAK-40 aircraft belonging to the Slovak Interior Ministry’s fleet, was not functioning properly.

“This concerned a higher temperature of output gases, a lower rotation speed of the high-pressure compressor and a lower pressure in fuel injection,” said Interior Ministry spokesperson Lucia Kirinovičová, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that the crew then decided to return to Bratislava Airport to make sure that no foreign body had been sucked into the jet engine.

“The landing was standard, the engine wasn’t switched off during the flight, no emergency situation was declared and no assistance service was needed during landing,” TASR quoted Kirinovičová as saying.

Glváč was on his way to Paris, where he was due to attend a military parade marking Bastille Day and the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

The minister would normally have used a substitute JAK-40 aircraft, but “as the programme of the minister had already been disrupted, a decision was made not to continue with the flight,” said Kirinovičová.

Specialists are currently carrying out an examination of the apparently damaged aircraft, TASR wrote.

The Interior Ministry’s fleet consisting of Tu-154 and Yak-40 aircraft, which are used to transport the highest constitutional officials of the country, are economically inefficient, according to aviation expert Peter Švec. He believes the government should find other ways to transport politicians, he told the SITA newswire.

Švec, however, resolutely opposes buying new aircraft for the government fleet.

“The government cannot afford it; moreover, similar purchases create room for corruption,” he told SITA.

He also said the crew handled the emergency situation well. Nevertheless, he says the Interior Ministry fleet should be dissolved immediately.

Source: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.