Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday directed to ensure transparent and impartial investigations into the Karachi plane crash that killed 97 passengers and crew members. The premier also ordered to make all plane crash reports public. Analysts believe that this is the first step in the right direction to make the PIA transparent and accountable.
— The_Nation (@The_Nation) May 28, 2020
PM was presiding over a high-level meeting in Islamabad to review the latest developments in the investigation of the PIA plane crash. During the meeting, PM Khan also ordered to public Junaid Jamshed plane crash report and directed officials to complete the PK-8303 plane crash investigation soon.
PIA, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) officials, and federal ministers attended the meeting. The authorities briefed Prime Minister Imran Khan on the PIA plane that crashed in Karachi’s Model Colony on May 22.
The prime minister was also briefed about facilities provided to the injured and heirs of the victims.
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed deep sorrow and regret over the precious lives that were lost on the Karachi bound plane. He assured justice to the affected families and directed authorities to make all plane crash reports public to inform the nation about every single fact, details into the PIA plane crash.
PIA’s flight PK-661 crashed: Where is the report?
On Dec 7, 2016, the PIA aircraft ATR42-500 (PK-661) en route to Islamabad from Chitral had crashed into the mountains near Havelian tehsil of Abbottabad. T
The Safety Investigation Board (SIB) report blamed the maintenance department of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for the crash of PK-661 near Havelian in 2016, which killed 48 passengers including Junaid Jamshed, prominent Islamic preacher.
The preliminary report cited lapse in maintenance by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as the possible cause of the incident, which was triggered by safety check failure and engine defect.
Interestingly, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on February 7, 2019 strongly censured the CAA over its failure in completing the inquiry into the 2016 Havelian plane crash despite a passage of 26 months.
Rejecting the CAA’s request for eight more months to complete the probe, Justice Aamir Farooq ordered the authority to submit the inquiry report by the first week of March.
Importantly, PIA’s CEO Azam Saigol resigned after a week of the crash citing personal reasons.
12 plane crash incidents: Make all plane crash reports public
Addressing media after the meeting, Federal Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that government had announced Rs1 million compensation for the families of those who were killed in the PIA plane crash.
Federal Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Thursday said that a provisional investigation report on last week's plane crash, as well as previous crashes, will be made public by June 22 during the upcoming parliamentary sessions.https://t.co/krR6iZW4yL
— Dawn.com (@dawn_com) May 28, 2020
He said that 12 plane crash incidents have happened till yet since the creation of Pakistan, adding that all investigation reports on the plane crash will be made public and to be present before parliament.
“Government will present the initial investigation report of PIA plane crash before parliament on June 22,” said the minister.
Read More: PIA plane crash: PM Khan & PIA CEO statement
The aircraft with 99 passengers and crew members on board had crashed while trying to make an emergency landing at Karachi airport. Only two people survived the tragic incident.
Air traffic controllers blame pilot for Karachi plane crash
The on-duty air traffic controller and the approach tower controller have reportedly told the Air Investigation Board (AIB) that the pilot of PK-8303, Sajjad Gul, ignored repeated instructions, causing the death of 97 people in a subsequent crash near Karachi airport last week.
The written replies to the AIB stated that on May 22, PK 8303 was handled by the Approach Tower Controller from Lahore to Karachi. The task of landing the aircraft was then transferred to ATC, 10 nautical miles before landing. They claimed that the captain ignored instructions given 10 nautical miles before landing.
The approach controller said that before landing, when the plane is usually at an altitude of 1,800 feet, the captain was flying at an altitude of 3,000 feet and even after repeated instructions, Captain Gul maintained that he would manage altitude and speed before landing.
The ATC further said that the captain landed the plane for the first time without opening the landing gear. On the first landing, both engines collided with the runway at least three times before the captain pulled the plane back up and asked for permission to land again.
PALPA protests probe leak
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) on Tuesday protested against the alleged leak of details of a probe into the plane crash.
“The administration seems no more interested in conducting a thorough probe into the incident,” PALPA claimed in a statement, adding that the leak was aimed at diverting the investigation into the incident that claimed lives of 97 people onboard except two survivors. “They want to save the real characters behind the incident,” it alleged.
The association said that the pilots also have questions to be asked from the air traffic control officials.
They asked why a long route was designated for the ill-fated plane. “The air traffic control officials are trying to portray a wrong picture by merging details of first and second landing attempts of the plane,” PALPA said.