An Olympic Airways Boeing 727-200Adv's landing gear was ripped off and its left wing destroyed when the pilot steered it off the runway while landing at Thessaloniki, northern Greece, airport authorities have confirmed. The pilot appears to have been attempting to avoid overrunning into the sea.

On 12 August, the 1974-build (SX-CBI) 727 (flight OA171) had departed Athens for Thessaloniki and Frankfurt. Approaching runway 34 to land in heavy rain, the pilot had been advised to expect "moderate" braking action, but the aircraft appears to have aquaplaned on the wet surface.

When the danger of overrun became apparent, the aircraft was turned off the runway to the right, causing the gear to collapse and the left wing to break into three sections, but there was no fire. The 26 passengers and eight crew were safely evacuated.

Source: Flight International