Crashed PIA Plane’s Pilots Were Distracted, Were Discussing Coronavirus, Says Pak Minister

by Amitabh Joshi 8 months ago Views 3577

A preliminary report from a probe into the crash of a PIA domestic flight in Karachi which left 97 dead on May 22 points to pilot error.

Stating this in Pakistan’s Parliament on Wednesday, the country’s Civil Aviation Minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, said there was no technical glitch in the aircraft.

Ironically, the pilots were said to be distracted before the crash because they were discussing the coronavirus.

“In the last half hour, the pilots' discussion was about coronavirus, they were not focused as their families were affected”, said Sarwar Khan

He said that the pilots were 'over confident’.


"The pilot and the ATC did not follow the procedure. The plane was 100 per cent okay," said the minister, although it’s still not clear exactly what role the ATC had to play in the tragedy.

The Lahore-Karachi PIA Flight PK8303 reportedly hit a mobile tower before crashing into Karachi’s Model Colony close to the Jinnah International Airport.

Images released in the last week of May of the airport’s runway indicated that the crash was likely due to pilot error. Photos of three long black skid marks on the runway posted on twitter and shown on Pakistani TV indicated that the engines of the Airbus A320 scraped the runway thrice before the pilot took off again for a loop landing. The plane then lost altitude and crashed into a residential colony, killing 97 of the 99 persons on board and injuring several on the ground.

(Skid marks from PK 8303 on Karachi runway)

Reports citing ATC sources at Karachi also stated that the pilot ignored instructions to lower altitude during his approach

At 10 nautical miles from the airport, the plane was at an altitude of 7,000 feet when it should have been at 3,000 feet.

The pilot, Sajjad Gul, was PIA’s senior-most A320 pilot.

The Airbus A320 had been in operation with Pakistan International Airlines since 2014. The aircraft had logged around 47,100 flight hours and 25,860 flight cycles.

The final and official report on the crash will be presented in one year

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