Last month’s heartbreaking crash of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) passenger plane in Karachi took place due to human errors – the carelessness of both the cockpit staff as well as the air control tower – and not because of any mechanical fault.
There was no technical error in the airplane, said the introductory investigation report submitted to the Aviation Division in a high-level meeting on Monday.
Pakistan International Airlines aircraft PK8303, taking 99 people with 8 crew members, crashed into a heavily populated residential area near Karachi airport on May 22 as it was making its second try to land. 97 people perished in the accident that also caused huge damage to the residential areas.
The day after the accident, the Civil Aviation Authority (Civil Aviation Authority) had issued a warning to an investigative team controlled by its Air Accident and Investigation Committee (AAIB), President Usman Ghani.
The team that also included Wing Commander Malik Imran, Technical Investigation Group Additional Director Captain Touqeer, Pakistan Air Force Safety Board Ops Investigator Kamran, and Air Traffic Control Ops Joint Director Nasir Majeed was to submit its primary report on June 22.
On Monday Air Commodore Ghani gave a comprehensive updating to the Aviation Division officials.
Black boxes from crashed PIA plane sent to France for analysis.
According to this statement, the CAA officials, the cockpit crew, the control tower, and the air traffic control repetitively made mistakes. Sources privy to the document said the aircraft’s black box has so far not specified the probability of any technical fault.
The report claimed that both the speed and the altitude of the aircraft was more than the suggested considerations when the pilot tried first landing. In the first landing, the aircraft touched the ground in the middle of the 9,000-meter long runway.
The control tower allowed landing despite the greater speed and altitude. The air traffic control also did not offer the control tower with the radio frequency.
The pilot also did not inform the control tower about blocking the landing gears. It was also an incorrect choice on part of the pilot to attempt a second landing.
The plane remained in the air for 17 minutes after the first landing attempt, a critical time during which both the engines of the aircraft failed.
It said remains of the PIA aircraft’s engine stayed on the runway for 12 hours but the air site unit did not collect them and later other aircraft were allowed to land on the runway. This was against the rule of the standard functioning process as it could cause damage to other aircraft.
Giving reference to the report the air traffic control officials should have been relieved after the incident but they continued to perform their duties till 7 pm. It said the plane’s first engine was fixed on February 25, 2019, while its second engine was fitted on May 27, 2019.
All three landing apparatuses of the aircraft were installed on October 18, 2014.
The fateful aircraft was 16 years old and manufactured in 2004. The aircraft was included in the PIA fleet in October 2014.
The Minister of Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, said on Monday at the national meeting that the report of the plane crash will be presented at the national meeting on Wednesday. He confirmed that he had received the report and also shared it with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“The report on the plane accident will be put before the house along with reports on other air crash incidents that occurred since 2010 including Air Blue and Bhoja airlines’ plane crashes in Islamabad, PIA plane crash in Gilgit and other plane accidents,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Aviation Division disclaimed the report aired by certain television channels regarding provisional inquiry report into the plane crash.
“Media friends are informed that a couple of TV channels have been mentioning to a report regarding the crash of PIA flight PK-8303. No such report has been delivered by the Aviation Division,” spokesperson Abdul Sattar Khokhar said in a brief statement.
The report, being distributed through the two TV channels, was not from any authentic source, he added.
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