Voice of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Monday, September 26, 2022

PIA Plane Crash Controversies

The ill-fated PIA Airbus A320, that crashed a couple of days before Eid ul fittar in a dense populated area adjacent to Jinnah International Airport at Karachi has raised many serious questions which needs to be answered as it has resulted in a loss of almost 100 precious lives. The nation is waiting for answers regarding actual reasons behind this fatal incident which has left the entire nation in mourning.

The plane crash is a huge tragedy for the entire nation at a time when the country is passing through a difficult situation due to Covid19 pandemic. Important questions such as, were safety regulations followed? what was the role of Control tower amid emergency situation? how did sudden jamming of landing gears occurred and what was the role of technical engineers who gave clearance to the plane? needs to be answered without any delay.

Local media and public have raised many important questions as to why the plane crashed. The first and foremost question raised is, why the landing gears were jammed and what led to the failure of both engines of the plane just before landing on the runway?

Meanwhile, many reports also claim that there were many technical issues in the plane and despite knowing, the technical engineer cleared the plane for takeoff. Other reports also revealed that PIA engineering department had frequently requested the concerned authorities for provision of spare parts and rectification of technical issues, however, the management did not pay any heed towards these issues.

Besides, doubts about fitness of plane and role of concerned authorities, the four members investigation team formed by the government is also being widely criticized as it is lacking any expert pilot of commercial plane. The team comprises of three officials from Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (two of them are Air Force officers) and fourth member has been taken from Pakistan Airforce Safety Board.

The Pakistan Airlines Pilot Association (PALPA) has also showed their reservations over the status of the investigation team and has demanded the government to include a commercial plane pilot in the team in order to conduct a transparent inquiry.

On the other hand, the primary report prepared by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that the engines of the crashed plane had touched the runway twice or thrice while the pilot was trying to land. As per the report, after the third attempt to land, the pilot once again took flight which was an unusual move.

Meanwhile, many experts have also raised questions over authenticity of the primary report as they believe that the report was an attempt to blame the pilot for the incident while exonerating rest of the concerned quarters. The experts termed the report as incomplete, fabricated and partial on such a serious issue.

In order to restore the lost confidence and pride of the national airline, the government should include a commercial pilot in the investigation team in order to ensure transparency of investigation process and maintain neutrality. PTI government should release the investigation report with all facts and figures without any delay to ensure transparency and also satisfy the bereaved families.

Besides, the government should also work seriously on the management of PIA, as the institution has long been suffering from allegations of corruption, incompetence and unprofessionalism. The national airline has been ailing for decades and has currently liabilities of over Rupees 350 billion. Therefore, there is a need to make serious efforts to improve the flight quality and operating mechanism of PIA.

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