PIA Airbus A320 Crash: Pilots were Discussing Coronavirus and Lacked Focus

Pakistan's Aviation Minister says pilots were overconfident and not focused on their job.

Pakistan Airbus A320 Crash Black Box Recovered
This is the worst air incident in Pakistan since 2012. Photo: Getty Images

Pilots of the PIA Airbus A320 plane that crashed on May 22 in Karachi were not ‘focused’ as well as 'overconfident' as they were discussing coronavirus and its impact on their families for at least half an hour before the crash.

The investigation probe has published some initial findings. The report suggests that the aircraft was fit to fly and that the weather through all stages of the trip was fine. 

The report was handed directly to Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Kahn. The investigation is ongoing with initial reports suggesting pilot error to blame.

Pakistan Airbus A320 Crash Black Box Recovered
The black box was retrieved two days after the crash. Photo: Getty Images

The Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320-200 crashed at Karachi's Jinnah International Airport, Pakistan, during its second approach on 22nd May. Only two people survived the deadly crash.

The Airbus A320 was performing flight PK8303 from Lahore to Karachi (Pakistan) with a total of 99 people on-board. 91 passengers and 7 crew members were on-board the aircraft.

Pakistani Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan presented the preliminary report today in the National Assembly. He accused the pilot and the co-pilot of being 'overconfident'.

Pakistan Airbus A320 Crash Black Box Recovered
The pilot informed that they have lost engines Photo: From Web

Aircraft was fit to fly

“The pilot and the ATC did not follow the procedure. There was no technical fault as the plane was 100 per cent fit to fly,” said Sarwar. He also said that the pilots were not focused because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“In the last half-hour, [the] pilots’ discussion was about coronavirus, they were not focused as their families were affected,” added the minister.

The pilots had discussed about coronavirus for half an hour. Photo: Wikimedia

He concluded saying that both the pilot and co-pilot were both fit and experienced. He said that he had heard the conversation between them and the air traffic controllers.

The Aviation Minister also said that the final report of the fatal crash would be presented within a year. 

What happened actually?

The minister explained that the aircraft touched the runway thrice without the landing gear, which caused damage to its both engines. 

The aircraft was in good condition for flying. Photo: Wikemedia

“When the plane took off again, both its engines had been damaged,” he said.

He also said that the pilots had ignored the ATC instructions regarding the height at which the aircraft was flying. 

“The pilots and the air traffic controllers (ATC) both did not follow the protocol. The pilot ignored the instructions of the air traffic controllers and the ATC, on the other hand, did not inform the pilot about the engines’ collision.”

The ATC did not inform the pilot about engine. Photo: Getty

Worst Air Disaster in Pakistan since 2012

The Airbus A320 crashed into a residential area near Karachi International Airport. According to reports from Business Recorder, five homes and some vehicles have been destroyed in the crash.

Although, the plane crashed in a residential area, the plane did not hit any buildings and on one on the ground appears to have been killed.

Images of the plane prior to the crash show damage to both the engines - which confirms audio recordings of a technical fault. Both engines were shut down.

Pakistan Airbus A320 Crash Black Box Recovered
Many people on ground were injured Photo: Getty Images

This Airbus A320 crash is the worst air disaster in Pakistan since 2012, when a Bhoja Air Boeing 737, crashed in Islamabad, killing 127 people.

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