Pakistan Air force trying to whitewash the PIA crash probe – Palpa’s concerns

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The representatives of the Pakistan Airlines’ Pilot Association (Palpa) and aviation experts across the country have alleged that the Pakistani Air force is trying to cover up the PIA crash. The representatives consider the federal investigation team as “unbalanced” as it allegedly lacks “commercial pilots”.

According to The Balochistan Post news desk; Palpa has accused Pakistani Air force of concealing the inner workings of the PIA crash. While talking to Dawn, the general secretary of the Pilots associations, Capt Imran Narejo, had said that “investigation team was not balanced” as it had lacked commercial pilots who have a thorough understanding of such accidents.

On May 23, an Airbus A320 passenger plane had crashed in a residential area while approaching the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. Officially known as the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-8303, the passenger airline had succumbed to some kind of “technical issues” and crashed in Model Colony near Airport. According to reports, the plane had 99 people on board – 8 crew member and 91 passengers. The crash had killed 97 of the aboard persons on the spot while 2 had survived “miraculously”. 

After the incident, Islamabad had appointed a four-member federal investigation team to probe the causes of the crash. Three of the team members are officials from the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB) – two of which are Air force officers – while the fourth member is a PIF safety board associate. There is no commercial pilot on the team. Furthermore, Palpa officials have said that the absence of an experienced pilot on the inquiry team of that particular Jetliner will remain a handicap for the investigation. 

It is also suspected that the reservations over the federal investigation team are somewhat prompted by the fact that a serving air marshal in Pakistan Air force is currently heading Pakistan Airlines. The composition of the investigation team might be hinting an affiliation between the Pakistan Airlines CEO and the Pakistani Air force. 

Pakistani authorities are reportedly working to ascertain whether the crash is attributable to a technical glitch of a human error. As per media reports, the pilot had ignored three consecutive warnings from the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) regarding the altitude and the speed of the aircraft before landing. The pilot had reportedly dismissed these warnings and assured the controllers that he will handle the situation. The pilot had ignored the initial warning of his unusual altitude – 10000 feet instead of 7000 – and had reportedly said that he was “satisfied” with the height and was “ready for landing”. The pilot had also ignored a second similar warning with the same answers. 

After a failed attempt for landing, the pilot had decided to “go-around” and recalibrate the plane for a good landing. Unfortunately, the engines of the aircraft had stopped simultaneously (which is considered rare by the experts) and the plane had dropped headfirst onto the ground few hundred feet away from the runway.

SourceTBP

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