Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crash that killed 97 people last month was a result of a human error by the pilot and the air traffic control, as per an initial report that was released on Wednesday.
“The pilot, as well as the controller, didn’t follow the standard rules,” the country’s aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said in the Pak parliament.
He further added that the pilots were discussing coronavirus pandemic as they attempted to land the Airbus 320 that crashed among houses in Karachi on May 22.
The minister went on to blame the pilots for not being focused and talking about coronavirus during the time of the descent. “The pilots were discussing corona throughout the flight. They were not focused on. They talked about corona […] their families were affected. When the control tower asked him to increase the plane’s height, the pilot said ‘I’ll manage’. There was overconfidence,” he said.
“According to the report, the plane was 100 per cent fit for flying. It had no technical fault. Flights were suspended due to corona, the plane took its first flight on May 7 and the crash happened on May 22. In between, it completed six flights successfully; five to and from Karachi and one to Sharjah. The pilot on the final approach did not identify any technical fault [as well]. At a distance of 10 miles from runway, the plane should have been at an altitude of 2,500 feet but it was around 7,220 feet. This was the first irregularity,” Khan said.