Pakistan Plane Crash A Human Error, Pilots ‘Lacked Focus’: Report

A PIA plane crash on 22 May killed 97 of the 99 people on board as the flight crashed near the Karachi Airport.

Published24 Jun 2020, 12:23 PM IST
2 min read

The Pakistan International Airline (PIA) plane that crashed in Karachi on 22 May, killing 97 people, met its fate due to a human error, says a report by the Pakistani government, reports AFP.

The plane, an Airbus A320, crashed among houses as it approached Karachi Airport, due to both its engines failing. The crash killed all but two onboard.

"The pilot as well as the controller didn't follow the standard rules," said Pakistan's Aviation Minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, in the country's Parliament.

The Aviation Minister further claimed that the pilot and co-pilot were not "focussed" during the landing procedure and "throughout, the conversation was about coronavirus".

He further said that the pilots were flying at a height below what it should have been during the landing procedure. He said that the Air Traffic Control (ATC) officials told the pilots to increase the height of the aircraft thrice but they refused to listen. The pilot apparently responded to the ATC with a "I'll manage", reports Dawn.

"He was an extremely experienced pilot. What is sad is that because of the overconfidence and lack of focus of pilot and co-pilot, such a big incident happened. The interim report says cabin crew and control tower were also at fault," Khan continued.

He also laid responsibility on the ATC officials saying that they did not inform the pilot when the engine caught fire.

The investigation into the disaster was conducted by a Pakistani team, which included officials from the French government and the aviation industry. The team analysed voice recorders and data from the flight.

The minister further said that the plane was "100 percent fit for flying" and that there was "no technical fault".

This was Pakistan's deadliest air crash in eight years and took place right after domestic flights were resumed post the coronavirus lockdown, and before the holy festival of Eid-ul Fitr.

(With inputs from AFP and Dawn)

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