Investigations show that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK303, which crashed into the residential area known as Model Colony on May 22, crashed due to “human error”


New information has emerged about Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK303, which crashed into the residential area known as Model Colony on May 22 after trying to land at Jinnah International Airport. Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan announced to parliament that despite rumors that the plane was unfit to fly because it was grounded for 46 days due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Airbus A320 was deemed fit to fly by investigators, who found that the crash was actually caused by human error. ~

Investigators reported that during its initial descent, flight PK303 was at more than twice the recommended altitude. When advised by air traffic control to circle the airspace in order to achieve a more gradual descent, alleged captain Sajjad Gul reportedly said, “I’ll manage” (BBC). Minister Khan also reported that Gul failed to deploy the landing gear correctly, which led to the aircraft’s underbelly scraping across the runway before taking off into the air again. Muhammad Zubair, one of the only two surviving passengers on the flight, reported that there was 10-15 minutes between the first attempted landing and the crash. “No one was aware that the plane was about to crash; they were flying the plane in a smooth manner,” Zubair said. Despite Zubair’s account, investigators report that the first landing caused significant damage to the Airbus’s engines, a fact that air traffic control failed to report to the flight crew. When asked if the flight was planning on making a “belly landing”, Gul replied, “mayday mayday mayday,” the final communication heard from the flight (BBC). In the final moments of the flight, Khan reported that the pilots were discussing the COVID-19 pandemic, and the effect that it had on both of their families. Additionally, Khan said that a full report would be available within a year’s time. ~

This is not the first negative mark on PIA’s record. With three previous plane crashes, occurring in 2010, 2012, and 2016, PIA is currently experiencing a suffering reputation featuring cancellations, delays, and even the imprisonment of a drunk pilot in Britain in 2013. To end his report, Khan promised a restructuring of PIA, including action being taken against rogue pilots. ~

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