E195 jet flying for Air Serbia hits antenna on takeoff, safely returns: video 

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A Marathon Airlines Embraer E195 operating for Air Serbia struck an ILS (Instrument Landing System) antenna array while taking off from Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG). The flight, heading to Dusseldorf (DUS) continued into the air but made an emergency return and landed safely back at the airport shortly afterward. There were no injuries to the passengers and crew onboard, although the aircraft sustained substantial damage. 

The aircraft, registered OY-GDC and operated by Marathon Airlines on behalf of Air Serbia, was operating flight JU324 on February 18, 2024. The aircraft is currently leased from the Greek company and operates in full Air Serbia color scheme.  

Flight JU324 had lined up on runway 30L at Belgrade Airport and was taking off at 17:38 local time. The aircraft began its takeoff roll from intersection D5, midway along the runway’s length, leaving a remaining takeoff distance of 4,175 ft (1,273 m). However, the aircraft failed to get airborne on the hard surface and overrun the runway’s end by approximately 3,600ft (1,100 m).  

Following a collision with an ILS equipment assembly located beyond the end of the runway, the aircraft managed to become airborne, passing a height of just 50ft at 8,500ft (2,600m) past the stop end. The aircraft subsequently stopped its climb at 4,000 feet (1,219m) and entered a holding pattern to burn off fuel to avoid making an overweight landing.  


The aircraft eventually left the hold and made a successful landing back at the airport without further incident at 18:36 – 55 minutes after departure.  

The video below shows the extent of the damage caused when the aircraft struck the ILS antenna array at the end of the runway as it attempted to get airborne. Following the incident, the runway’s ILS category has been downgraded from Category III to Category I, given the damage caused to the equipment.   

According to Flightradar24, passengers reported that “immediately after take-off, the aircraft shook, and the plane entered a holding for about an hour before returning to land at Belgrade. They were quickly escorted off the aircraft, they weren’t told anything except it was a minor incident, however, they could see something had broken off the left wing.” 
The aircraft involved in the incident is a 15-year-old Embraer E195 that was originally delivered to Flybe in August 2008. The aircraft is currently configured in a single-class 118-seat layout and is one of four of the type leased by Air Serbia from Marathon Airlines. Runway 12R/30L is Belgrade’s second and newest runway, having opened in July 2023.  

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