OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s first battery-powered aircraft crash-landed on a lake on Wednesday, in a setback for the country’s aviation strategy, although police said the pilot and passenger both escaped unhurt.
The plane’s owner, airport operator Avinor, told Reuters last year it hoped to see commercial passenger flights on electric planes by 2025.
The two-seater plane was piloted by Avinor Chief Executive Dag Falk-Petersen, who had invited a string of high-profile passengers to showcase the opportunities of electrification.
Photographs published by Norwegian media showed the Alpha Electro G2 plane, produced by Slovenia’s Pipistrel, nose-down and partly submerged at the end of a lake near Arendal in southern Norway.
The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.
“I made a mayday call and looked for a place to land,” Falk-Petersen told public broadcaster NRK.
“This is not good for the work we do,” he added.
His passenger during the crash, Aase Marthe Horrigmo, a junior government minister, was among Avinor’s guests on Wednesday, as was Environment Minister Ola Elvestuen, who flew earlier in the day.
The government has asked Avinor to develop a programme for electrification of all domestic aviation by 2040.
(The story corrects the spelling of Dag Falk-Petersen in paragraphs 3 and 6)
Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Terje Solsvik and Frances Kerry