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Friday, March 24, 2023

President asks PIA CEO to expedite compensation process for families of victims

Planes had been grounded during a two-month lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, some special flights were operated to move passengers before Eid. Unfortunately, one of those flights witnessed a tragic incident affecting scores of families.

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President, Dr. Arif Alvi has directed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Air Marshal Arshad Malik to expedite the process of compensation to the families of plane crash victims.

He issued these directives while presiding over a briefing at Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad. The CEO PIA briefed the President about the investigation into the plane crash and the relief efforts made by the national airline. He said 44 bodies of the victims have been handed over to their heirs so far.

The President appreciated the relief measures taken by the PIA and the facilities provided by it to the families of the deceased. Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of PIA visited the house of PIA air hostess, Anam Khan in Lahore, who was martyred in the plane crash in Karachi.

Read more: USA allows PIA to operate first-ever direct flights under CEO Arshad Malik

Crashed PIA plane cockpit voice recorder found

Investigators scouring the site of a crashed Pakistani airliner found the jet’s cockpit voice recorder on Thursday and hope it will answer why pilots had failed at an initial landing attempt.

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane came down among houses on May 22 after both engines failed as it approached Karachi airport, killing 97 people on board. Two passengers survived.

Investigators found the plane’s black box flight recorder two days after the crash.

Pakistan’s aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said a French-led investigation team would analyse the Airbus A320’s recorders.

“We have found the voice recorder and data (black box) recorder, and the French authorities will take them with them,” Khan told a press conference.

Questions are swirling over the ill-fated Flight 8303, during which the pilot made an initial landing attempt when the plane briefly made contact with the ground multiple times, before going around for a second attempt.

“It is a million-dollar question as to why the pilot chose to fly back after touching the ground,” Khan said.

Experts have raised the possibility pilots had initially tried to land the Airbus without first lowering the wheels.

PIA previously said that air traffic control lost contact with the plane, which was travelling from Lahore, just after the pilot made a desperate mayday call following the failed initial landing attempt.

In that call, he can be heard announcing “we have lost engines”, according to an audio recording confirmed by the airline.

On board the aircraft were 91 passengers, six cabin crew and two pilots. There were no fatalities on the ground.

A preliminary crash report is expected to be made public June 22 in a parliamentary session, Khan said.

Read more: PIA plane crash: PM Khan & PIA CEO statement

He added that 12 to 15 houses had been badly damaged in the crash, and that the government would compensate residents for property losses.

Pakistan has a chequered military and civilian aviation safety record, with frequent plane and helicopter crashes over the years.