A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft crashed in Karachi on Friday. The crash happened shortly before the landing. The aircraft, A320, reportedly had 107 passengers on board.
The plane crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir, just a minute before its landing. Director Programming 24 News Ansar Naqvi and Bank of Punjab President Zafar Masood were among the passengers. Several are feared killed but official word on casualties is awaited.
The crash comes just days after Pakistan began allowing commercial flights to resume service after planes were grounded due to the lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.
According to an eyewitness, "The plane first hit a mobile tower and crashed over houses. One of the wings had hit a minaret before the crash."
Before the pilot made the mayday distress call, Air Traffic Control was informed by the pilot of the Pakistan International Airlines flight that he was facing problems with the plane's engines.
The pilot told controllers at the Karachi airport ATC that he had "lost engine."
What could've gone wrong?
Captain Amit Singh, Fellow, Royal Aeronautical Society, UK and Former Head Airline Operations Safety, told the International Business Times, India, in a statement that, "The crew probably faced a dual engine failure situation. The first approach was discontinued from a low height. The aircraft turned back to make a second attempt when the engines could have failed. They attempted to fly via the shortest route to reach the runway but crashed very close to the airport."
According to some tweets posted by flyers, "Suspected engine flameout/damage must have been due to multiple bird hits and this may explain the loss of thrust on both engines theory. Let's wait for the official version."
PIA Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik while talking about the crash said that the pilot told the control room that there were some technical issues. The ATC told the pilot that two runways were ready for landing but the pilot however decided to go around rather than landing.
Below is the last conversation that happened between the pilot of the crashed PIA plane and the ATC. This might be some part of it and might not be the full conversation.
ATC: ...8303, Approach.
Pilot: Ji, sir.
ATC: Uh, appear to be turning left.
Pilot: Uh, we are proceeding direct, sir, we have lost engine.
ATC: Confirm you are carrying out belly landing?
ATC: Runway available to land at two-five.
Pilot: Sir, mayday, mayday, mayday, Pakistan 830... 3.
ATC: Pakistan 8303, roger sir, both runways available to land.
Nothing came after that as the plane must have crashed or lost connection with the ATC.
Giving another insight on fuel tank contamination and how it impacts engine failure, Amit further added that after a period of storage, the regulator/engineers must ensure that water sediments and microbial growth do not pose threat of engine failure.
#Fueltank #contamination after a period of storage, the regulator/engineers must ensure that water,sediments & microbial growth do not pose threat of engine failure. I am sure @Airbus #AMM has procedure but compliance is critical. @DGCAIndia @MoCA_GoI @VishnuNDTV @TOIIndiaNews pic.twitter.com/3AflGxa5g1— Amit Singh (@flyingamit) May 22, 2020