Pilots of a Pakistani plane crashed last month and killed 98 people were busy and distracted by the coronavirus pandemic when they chatted about the insect – according to a first official, trying to land with wheels on their first attempt is still reported about disaster.
The Pakistan International Airlines jet crashed into a residential area near Jinnah International Airport in Karachi just 22 days after the country lifted its coronavirus restrictions and restarted domestic flights before a major Muslim holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
With 91 passengers and eight crew members, only two survived in the Airbus A320 crash. A 13-year-old neighborhood girl was seriously injured and later died in the hospital.
On Wednesday, Pakistan’s aviation minister blamed the “human error” by the air traffic controllers, who saw the cockpit crew and the two engines of the plane painted the runways with a spark shower, but did not tell the pilots.
According to the research, the researchers determined that when the plane first approached the runway, the correct altitude was more than double.
According to the findings, pilots attempted a second landing, while damaged engines failed.
“The pilot and the controller did not follow the standard rules,” Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said of the findings in parliament.
Speaking with the first officer about the epidemic, he said that he ignored the instructions from the controller during the landing attempt.
“The pilot and co-pilot were not focused and they were chatting about the coronavirus,” Khan said.
According to the voice recorder, pilots had discussed the coronavirus, which apparently affected their families throughout the flight.
The accident occurred while the crew was trying to land a second time, and the traffic controller told the pilot three times that the plane was too low for landing, but refused to listen, saying it would succeed.
Khan later told reporters that the plane did not have enough power as it approached a second landing, but pilots “started to discuss the corona again”.
Just minutes before the accident, the pilot declared an emergency and said both engines were failing.
“The last words from the pilot‘ Oh my God! Oh my God! “Oh my God,” he said.
Khan said the plane “did not have a technical error” before the collision and that highly experienced pilots were healthy, but the tragedy was “due to excessive confidence and lack of focus”.
Last year, the minister uncomfortably reviewed pilot credentials, saying an investigation found that 262 of Pakistan’s 860 active pilots had fraudulent licenses or cheated on exams – including an unspecified number of PIA pilots.
A company spokesperson said the PIA will ground approximately 150 of its 426 pilots amid an investigation that they have “suspicious” licenses.
Agence France-Presse, Pakistan Airline Pilots Association spokesperson Qasim Qadim described the findings of the accident as “unimaginable”.
“How can it be? It just surprises me, ”he said. “The biggest pilots with the best records made mistakes. People make mistakes. “
The report did not name the pilots, but a senior airline official told AFP that the captain was Sajjad Gül, who joined the PIA 25 years ago and accumulated 17,000 hours of flight experience in the A320s, including 4,500 hours.
The Pakistan Airline Pilots Association secretary told Reuters that pilots are not expected to be distracted during important procedures such as landing, but other factors should be explored for the entire report.
“It was pointed out that pilots are busy talking about corona and may have missed a few things,” he said, but there were other reasons such as “lack of proper support from air traffic control”.
A full report is expected to be published at the end of the year.
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