Pakistan plane crash was ‘human error’ – initial report

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A plane crash that killed 97 people in Pakistan last month was a result of human error by the pilot and air traffic control, according to an initial report into the disaster.

They failed to follow protocol, aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said, announcing the findings in parliament.

He also said the pilots were distracted because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The passenger plane came down on houses in Karachi on 22 May.

Only two passengers survived.

Mr Khan said there was nothing wrong with the aircraft, an Airbus A320, run by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

"The pilot ignored the instructions of the air traffic controllers [ATC] and the ATC, on the other hand, did not inform the pilot about the engine colliding," Mr Khan added.

The passenger plane was en route from Lahore when it crashed into a residential area in Karachi, after trying to land at the city's Jinnah International Airport.

Mr Khan said the pilot initially failed to deploy the landing gear correctly, which led to the aircraft scraping the runway before taking off again.

Then, as it was about to make a second landing, air traffic controllers failed to inform the pilot that the engines had been left badly damaged, the minister reported.

What happened on board?

Purported audio of the conversation between air traffic control and a pilot for the second attempt was published shortly after the crash by Pakistani media outlets, in which the pilot is heard saying the plane has "lost engines".

An air traffic controller asks whether it is going to carry out a "belly landing", to which the pilot replies "mayday, mayday, mayday" – the final communication from the plane.

Muhammad Zubair, one of the two surviving passengers, said there were 10-15 minutes between the first attempt at landing and the crash. "No-one was aware that the plane was about to crash; they were flying the plane in a smooth manner," he said.

He recalled how he lost consciousness during the sudden descent, then woke up to smoke and sRead More – Source