Safety watchdog investigating take-off mishap at Helsinki Airport

The plane turned back shortly after take-off.

Finavia has not specified what the danger was. File photo of an Amapola Flyg Fokker 50 aircraft at Joensuu Airport in October 2021. Image: Jari Tanskanen / Yle

A plane on its way from Helsinki Airport to Joensuu, Eastern Finland, ran into trouble immediately after taking off on Thursday evening and had to return to the airport. The incident took place shortly after 5pm. According to national airport operator Finavia, there was no danger to other aircraft.

Finavia has not specified what the danger was, nor the number of passengers on the plane.

The Rescue Department received a report of a major air traffic accident as soon as the incident occurred, and a total of 15 rescue units were sent to the scene. However the plane was able to land normally at Helsinki airport.

The Safety Investigation Authority (Otkes) said late Thursday on Twitter that it was carrying out a preliminary investigation into the incident. According to Otkes, there were 34 people aboard the plane, but no injuries.

False alarm of plane crash

Tabloid paper Ilta-Sanomat reported that the aircraft was a Fokker 50 operated by Amapola Flyg. Finavia confirmed this information. Amapola is a passenger and cargo airline based in Stockholm, Sweden.

According to Ilta-Sanomat, Amapola Flyg is owned by the venture capital firm Salénia AB. It has also operated some domestic passenger flights in Sweden since 2018 and won the tender for the Joensuu route last April.

Finavia said that a report of a crash was erroneously sent out via alert systems.

"There was a risk of an Amapola plane crash. The plane turned back immediately after take-off and landed normally at 5:19 pm. There was in fact no crash, but the information managed to go out into the systems," Finavia commented.

According to the aviation website FlightRadar24, most of Amapola’s turboprop-powered Fokker planes are over 30 years old. Production of the planes ended in 1996.