Initial report finds human error on part of pilots, ATC officials in PIA crash: aviation minister.


Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, while speaking in the National Assembly on Wednesday, said that the initial report of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) June 22 plane crash found the pilots and air traffic control (ATC) officials to be at fault for not following set procedures.

Khan said that both the pilots and the ATC ignored "standard protocols".

The PIA Airbus A320 crashed last month in Karachi's Model Colony, close to the Jinnah International Airport, killing all but two of the 99 aboard. Flight PK-8303 from Lahore came down about a kilometre short of the runway on its second attempt to land.

Preliminary findings

While detailing the possible circumstances that culminated in the air crash, the preliminary investigation report states that the safety investigation was not meant to "apportion blame or liability".

"Accordingly, it is inappropriate to use AAIB [interim] investigation report to assign fault or blame or determine liability," it adds.

The preliminary report, seen by, found that:

The departure from Lahore and cruising flight of PK-8303 were uneventful. However, "The crew did not follow standard callouts and did not observe CRM ( Crew Resource Management) aspects during most parts of flight."

On its first approach, the aircraft was cleared to descend to 3,000 feet by the time it reached Makli. However, "the aircraft ended up higher than the required descend profile" and was at 9,780 feet and a speed of about 245 knots at Makli.

In order to manage the descent and lose the additional height, 'OPEN DES' mode was selected via the Fuel Control Unit, both autopilots were disengaged and speed brakes were extended.

The 'Karachi Approach' tower, also called the air traffic control, advised the pilot to do an orbit so that the aircraft could be adjusted on the required descend profile. However, no orbit was executed and the landing approach was continued.

The landing gears were lowered at an altitude of 7,221 feet at around 10.5 nautical miles from runway 25L, according to flight data.

Karachi Approach advised the pilot "repeatedly" about the plane's excessive height but the landing approach was not discontinued. Instead, in a move termed by the aviation minister as "inexplicable", the plane's landing gears were raised and speed brakes were retracted when it was at a height of 1,740 feet and at a distance slightly less than five nautical miles from the runway. The plane then gave over-speed and ground proximity...

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