PIA Plane Crash: Pilot Ignored Warnings, Engine Skid Marks Found On Karachi Runway

by Amitabh Joshi 10 months ago Views 2200

Images of Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport runway appear to show that the crash of PIA flight PK8303 from Lahore could be attributed to pilot error. Photos of three long black skid marks on the runway posted on twitter and shown on Pakistani TV indicate 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 on board and injuring several on the ground.

While the complete air crash investigation will take three months, preliminary reports from Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority observed and recorded the skid marks caused by friction on the runway. This may indicate that the aircraft had not deployed it's landing gear.

Reports citing ATC sources at Karachi also say that the pilot ignored instructions to lower altitude during his approach. In the following audio clip, posted by he can be heard saying ‘we are comfortable” on more than one occasion.


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 plane’s manufacturer, Airbus, has not made any comment on the probable causes behind the crash. In a crisis statement the company said: “At this stage, Airbus has no confirmed information concerning the circumstances of the accident. The aircraft, registration number AP-BLD, Manufacturer Serial Number 2274, first entered service in 2004. It has been in operation with Pakistan International Airlines since 2014. The aircraft had logged around 47,100 flight hours and 25,860 flight cycles...”

The company added that “Airbus is providing full technical assistance to the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses of France and to the Pakistani Authorities in charge of the investigation. Technical support is also being provided by Pakistan International Airlines and engine manufacturer CFM”.

However, an account by one of two survivors of the crash, 24 year-old Mohammad Zubair, seems to still cast some doubts surrounding the crash. Zubair claims that the aircraft began shaking violently before landing and the pilot informed passengers that the landing could be "troublesome."


Recollections of people involved in traumatic experiences are often distorted. The truth will only come out when the full report is released.

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