BELGRADE – The Politika newspaper carried on April 28 a statement by an unnamed pilot who said he doubted the official version of an incident which caused a government plane carrying Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic who had been traveling to the Vatican, to turn back to Belgrade.

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The unnamed pilot, who knows the planes which government officials use for trips very well, said that he did not believe that the pilots could have caused the accident by spilling coffee over the instrument panel and thus accidentally triggering the emergency switch since these buttons were well secured precisely to guard against being unintentionally activated, BETA reports.

The source said that he was sure that the Falcon jet actually returned to Belgrade after experiencing a problem with one of its three engines, adding that the crew was covering up the real reason behind the incident.

The pilot said that the switch which the crew said they accidentally pressed when wiping the instrument panel off, had a special cover which protected it from being accidentally switched on, since one first had to lift the cover to reach the button.

The same pilot said that the stated loss of altitude, a drop from 10,200 meters to 7,500 meters, was also fishy and could only be explained as a result “of insufficient power for flight” at higher altitudes, which could have been caused by engine failure.