Serbian Government Jet Failure Forces President Nikolic to Cancel Vatican Visit
Serbia’s President Tomislav Nikolic cancelled his visit to the Vatican on Friday after his plane had to return to Belgrade due to an engine failure, state news agency Tanjug reported.
According to unofficial information, one of the engines of Serbian government jet Falcon had stopped functioning when the plane was cruising at an altitude of 10,000 metres above the Adriatic Sea, Tanjug said.
The plane descended 2,000 metres before the pilot restored control over the plane and returned the jet to Belgrade.
Serbia’s President was to meet with Pope Francis. The visit has been delayed until further notice and a new visit is expected to be scheduled.
The incident is the latest one in the series of malfunctions of the Serbian government plane built in 1981, Tanjug said. In December 2012, a visit by then- premier Ivica Dacic to Cyprus was delayed due to a technical problem with the same plane.
Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov also had to delay a visit to Brussels earlier this year when the Bulgarian government’s Falcon aircraft developed a technical malfunction earlier this year.
The aircraft carrying Borisov to a meeting of the European Council had to return to Sofia after the crew realised soon after take-off that the plane’s landing gear couldn’t retract properly.
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