Presidential advisors recount "mid-air drama"

"As far as the Presidency staff is concerned, we will in the future use only regular flights," presidential advisor Stanislava Pak has said.

Source: Vecernje novosti

Pak spoke on Friday, hours after President Tomislav Nikolic's plane - a government-owned Falcon - en route to Rome had to turn back and land in Belgrade when one of its engines failed.

"We will be celebrating this day as our second birthday," Pak, who was traveling with the president, told the Belgrade-based daily Vecernje Novosti and added:

"It was only thanks to our pilot's great professionalism and exceptional skill that a tragedy has been avoided. Believe me, we were at one point literally dropping like a rock."

Three more presidential advisors - Ivan Mrkic, Oliver Antic, and Jasmina Mitrovic-Maric - were also on board the plane.

"We went through a real mid-air drama, and all I can say is that President Nikolic and his associates landed in Belgrade unharmed only thanks to the incredible composure and skill of the pilot and the copilot," Mrkic said.

"We departed from Belgrade at around eight o'clock (CET) and suddenly, at around nine, one of the engines failed. The aircraft became unstable, there was turbulence, we were literally thrown around the plane. I claim that we only survived thanks to the pilot," the former Serbian foreign minister told the newspaper.

Mrkic also stressed that the Falcon is a 34 years old craft, and that he personally already went through "various incident situations" while flying on that plane.


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