The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said in a letter to the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) that the pilot of the plane which crashed in Karachi on May 22 did not follow the instructions of the air-traffic controller (ATC).
On May 22, the PIA A320 plane, en route from Lahore, crashed in Karachi’s densely populated Model Colony area near the city’s airport, killing 97 of the 99 passengers and crew members on board. A teenage girl on the ground also died later, reports Dawn news.
The June 2 letter from CAA official Iftikhar Ahmed to the PIA safety and quality assurance department, while pointing out “non-compliance of ATC instructions” by PK-8303, asked him to “ensure avoidance of recurrence of such situation in the interest of flight safety”.
A PIA spokesperson told Dawn news on Wednesday that the national flag carrier would respond as per regulations.
Taking strong exception, the Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (Palpa) said on Wednesday that release of limited details about the crash was tantamount to influencing the ongoing investigation.
The CAA letter said the duty approach controller had raised a non-compliance report in respect of the pilot of PK-8303.
It claimed that the pilot was warned twice about his speed and high altitude for the approach but he did not follow.
The letter said that PK-8303 was cleared to an altitude of 3,000 feet while entering the control zone that is 25 nautical miles (NM), but the aircraft was spotted at a high altitude of over 5,000 feet over Makli.
“The same was communicated to the pilot who reported comfortable for the descent. Later, at 10NM pilot was again cautioned by offering an orbit to adjust his high altitude for approach, which he did not accept,” it added.
Approach tower deals with the aircraft from the start of descend till it is five nautical miles and then hands over to local tower (Karachi tower in this case) after the final landing approach has been established.
The local tower visually looks at the aircraft for landing gears, etc, and directs the landing.
Once on the ground, the pilot is handed over to ground control, which then guides the pilot to parking.
A question, however, arises as to why the approach tower did not transfer the aircraft to Karachi tower, which could have physically seen if the landing gears were down or not when the pilot came in for a first landing, said the Dawn news report.
Also Read-UAE sends medical aid to Cuba