Pakistan aircraft crash: PIA Flight 8303 pilots had been discussing coronavirus earlier than touchdown try, finds probe

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The pilots of the ill-fated Pakistan International Airlines Flight 8303, which crashed in Karachi final month, had been distracted and overconfident, the Pakistani authorities mentioned on Wednesday because it made public a preliminary probe report. The pilots had been “not focussed” and had the novel coronavirus pandemic on their thoughts, Pakistan’s aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan advised the nation’s parliament.

“Throughout, the dialogue [between the pilots] was on corona,” Khan mentioned, happening to recommend that one of many causes the subject of the novel coronavirus was dominating the pilots’ thoughts was that their households had been impacted.

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Giving an instance, Khan mentioned that at one level throughout the flight, when the air site visitors controller (ATC) warned the pilots that their aircraft was flying too excessive, one in every of them hurriedly responded that he “will handle” and “returned to speaking about corona”.

Khan went on accountable the PIA Fight 8303 crash, which killed practically 100 folks, squarely on human error — primarily overconfidence and distraction on the a part of the pilots and lack of communication by the ATC. Both — the pilots and the ATC — didn’t comply with pointers, Khan mentioned, including that the aircraft — an Airbus A320 — was completely match to fly and had not skilled technical issues throughout its deadly flight.

Pakistan International Airlines Flight 8303 — a Lahore to Karachi service — crashed in Karachi on May 22, killing 97 folks. Two passengers miraculously survived the Pakistan aircraft crash, which came about throughout the flight’s second touchdown try on the Karachi airport. The pilots of the aircraft had aborted the primary touchdown try.


According to the Pakistani aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, the interim probe report into the crash of PIA Flight 8303 has discovered a sequence of errors and lapses made by the 2 skilled pilots of the aircraft.

Among the primary errors made was flying the aircraft too excessive throughout its first touchdown try. According to Khan, the probe report has discovered that the plane was flying at a top of over 7,000 ft when it was a bit of greater than 15 kms away from the runway. It ought to have been flying at 2,500 ft.

Ya Allah, ya Allah, ya Allah [Oh God, oh God, oh God]

– Last phrases of the pilot

The air site visitors controller warned the pilots concerning the problematic top thrice, however the pilots ignored the warnings, with one in every of them saying that he’ll ‘handle’ it, Khan mentioned.

Another error — and probably the most inexplicable of all — was that the pilots raised an already lowered touchdown gear round 10 kms from the runway. This lapse was termed “past comprehension” by the aviation minister in his assertion on Wednesday.

Khan additionally mentioned that throughout the first touchdown try, PIA Flight 8303 was diving at an angle of 60 levels. The normal touchdown angle is 30 levels, the minister mentioned.


During its first touchdown try, PIA Flight 8303 didn’t have its touchdown gear deployed as a result of the pilots had inexplicably raised it moments earlier than. Because of this, the aircraft landed on its engines and bumped throughout the runway thrice earlier than the pilots determined to take off.

One of the engines of PIA Flight 8303 seen after the aircraft’s crash (AP picture)

The Pakistani aviation minister mentioned that the engines had been broken upon hitting the runway. He added that the ATC ought to have intervened at this level however didn’t. The ATC ought to have advised the pilots about their aircraft touching down on the runway on its engines, Ghulam Sarwar Khan mentioned, including that not doing so was a lapse on the a part of the controller.

Following the tousled touchdown try, the pilots of PIA Flight 8303 determined to ‘go round’, i.e. take off and are available again once more for an additional touchdown. However, minister Khan mentioned, the flight couldn’t attain the peak assigned to it and crashed right into a densely populated a part of Karachi shortly thereafter.

The final phrases of the pilot, Khan mentioned, had been: “Ya Allah, ya Allah, ya Allah [Oh God, oh God, oh God].”


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