According to a preliminary investigative report plane crash in Pakistan that killed 97 people last month was a result of “human error” by the pilot and air traffic control. Karachi Plane Crash was Human Error & Pilots Discussing Corona: Initial Investigation Report.
Pakistan International Airlines flight PK-8303 crashed into a residential neighbourhood in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, after an earlier aborted landing attempt, falling two kilometres (1.24 miles) short of the runway at the Jinnah International Airport. Moreover, the report blames pilots and air traffic controllers for the aviation accident, “they failed to follow protocol”.
Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan Announced the Findings in Parliament
“The pilots were distracted while talking about coronavirus, and did not follow the protocol, the pilot and co-pilot were not focused’ and had been discussing the coronavirus pandemic just before the crash. Subsequently, the plane crashed and killed 98 on ‘human error’.”
According to an Interim Investigation Report into the Disaster
Pakistan’s aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan read out blaming extracts of the report and presented it to Parliament in the capital Islamabad on Wednesday.
“According to the initial investigative report, the pilot and the [air traffic] controller both did not adopt the proper procedure. The initial report was based on data from the aircraft’s digital flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, decoded by investigators in France earlier this month, days after the May 22 crash. Though the report’s exactness has been borderline.”
Khan Highlighted Negligence on Part of Pilots and Air Traffic Controller
The aircraft had been approaching the runway at an unsafe approach angle after ignoring air traffic control warnings to lower its altitude while still 10 nautical miles (18.5km) from the runway. The pilot deployed his landing gear at that point, but flight data shows the gear was retracted again five nautical miles (9.3km) from the runway. The aircraft scraped the ground on its aborted landing, the engines hitting the runway at least three times. On one side, the pilot ignored the controller’s advice, and on the other side, the controller did not tell the pilot about the damage to his engines after they scraped [the ground]. The pilots then attempted to go around for another landing, but the plane was not able to gain altitude as its engines failed, causing it to plummet to the ground into the Model Colony residential neighbourhood in the echo of the last words of the pilot that were: “Ya Allah, ya Allah, ya Allah [Oh God, oh God, oh God].”
One of the engines of PIA Flight 8303 seen after the plane’s crash (AP photo)
Ninety-seven of the 99 people on board the aircraft were killed, only two passengers surviving after they were thrown from the debris on the first impact. A child, who was in one of the 29 homes ruined by the plane, was killed on the ground by the aircraft’s impact.
PALPA’s spokesperson Qasim Qadir responded to the report
“We have no clue about it, we have not even seen the report. We have not at all been included in this, not even as a silent observer. None of [the investigators] are rated on this plane or know this plane”.
Karachi Plane Crash was Human Error & Pilots Discussing Corona: Initial Investigation Report
“Pakistan’s air-crash investigators had been assisted by a 10-person international team, including members from France and the United States. A “senior Turkish pilot” had been included as a technical adviser. There is a free, fair, and transparent investigation ongoing, and this is its preliminary report. The pilot and co-pilot were not focused and had been discussing the coronavirus pandemic when air traffic control first alerted them to their excessive altitude. [The pilot] listened in haste and replied that he would manage it. And then returned to talking about the corona. There was overconfidence, unfortunately, and that focus and concentration were not there. The controller is also negligent that when he saw the aircraft touch down on its engines and saw fire coming out of the engines, he should have informed [the pilot], but the control tower did not inform the pilot.”
We wish that concerned departments would take precautionary measures to avoid such a national loss in the future.