Experts fought for their team in the middle of a PIA – Pakistan accident investigation | Instant News

LAHORE: The atmosphere was filled with suspicion because various groups in the system tried to hand over responsibility to ‘others’ before the investigation could emerge with strong evidence of responsibility in the Pakistan International Airlines plane crash in Karachi on May 22 which killed 97 people.

Dawn’s talks with experts show how complex the search for truth can turn out to be and most significantly how impossible it is to find an universally acceptable investigation – given the difference in views between the two leading wings of all flight operations in the country: those whose job is to fly planes and people who have to do their job to guide this plane to complete their journey safely.

The main focus of investigators so far has been the first and unsuccessful landing (re-take off) of the ill-fated PK-8303 flight that crashed in Karachi on May 22 and they have recorded important statements about air traffic. the controller concerned has also stopped working until the completion of the inspection.

Some retirees and pilots are tasked with raising eyebrows about the role of the CAA in terms of communication between pilots and air traffic controllers

Some retirees and pilots serving have raised eyebrows about the role of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the light of communication between pilots and air traffic controllers. They raise questions about runway inspection video leakage that provides plenty of fuel for the ‘pilot failure’ theory, and why air traffic control (ATC) does not give pilots an alternative choice – a longer vector plan – in emergency situations after the first failed landing attempt .

“The four-member investigation team – the Aircraft Accident and Investigation Agency (AAIB) who was notified by the federal government with Air Commodore Usman Ghani as its president, has noted the statement of the air traffic controller and the runway inspection team. The controller in question has been terminated from work to improve responsibility for the accident, “an investigative official told Dawn on Monday.

“So far the investigators have collected evidence – runway pictures, aircraft parts, communication records between the controller and pilot, radar recordings, and other related material,” the source said.

“Local investigators are mandated to find and correct responsibility for violations in flight procedures and suggest remedies to avoid a repeat.

Researchers have found the missing cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR). Along with this, the investigation team from the manufacturer of Airbus-320 (which had an accident) holds its own investigation into the accident.

Quoting a senior air traffic controller, an official told Dawn that the aircraft was kept with ‘approach control’ all the time according to procedure. “The pilot did not call the tower frequency at any time during the flight and made contact with the ATC until he fell,” he said, adding that the role of the co-pilot would come forward through the material stored in the voice recorder.

“The regulation requires local governments to conduct biopsies on the pilot’s body. This has not been done. “Button.

“Let’s try and understand the basic role first. The pilot is at the helm. “Taxation, take-off, turns, steering caps, yawns, pitch, roll and all switches in the cockpit are controlled by him,” said the official.

The controller on the other hand, “guides the plane on the route as requested by the pilot. The main responsibility of the controller is to avoid a collision in the air. When the flight reaches close to its destination, say about 50 miles, the radar controller gives the pilot a guide (vector) to place it ideally at 10 miles according to the runway, from where the pilot takes the ILS (instrument landing system) guide installed at the airport, and makes a comfortable landing.

“Likewise, lowering gears (wheels) is a basic requirement that must be completed 10 miles from touch-down. ATC is responsible for keeping the runway away from other aircraft / vehicles, etc. When landing / taking off in progress. If the pilot announces an emergency, such as fire, engine / other problems, the ATC accommodates the landing with priority and holds other traffic until the aircraft lands safely. ”

As the investigation into the accident continued, a pattern emerged that was not very popular among pilots saying the captain of the Airbus-320 did not report any emergencies after he first tried to land. He was told that at 3,500 feet he was rather high on the approach so he might go down to 2,000 feet or more in a circle, but the pilot said he was comfortable and kept straight.

The Dawn official spoke by saying that once the pilot realized that he could not make a proper landing, he went around from very low altitudes, more than scratching the runway and in the process of a broken engine.

“The ATC gave him permission to go back and land on any runway and stop all traffic for him. The ill-fated plane had damaged the engine, and crashed a mile near the runway. ”

He said in this case, the landing permit from the control tower was obtained beforehand and passed on to the plane. “The aircraft either in the short finals or after landing are asked to switch to tower frequencies. Usually radar frequencies are also available with tower controllers. In this particular case, as seen that the aircraft is very high on the approach, then it is stored at radar frequencies as possible to monitor aircraft altitude. ”

He said the PK-8303 pilots should have tried to land on the first instance. “Shorter vectors are only given in emergencies based on the request of the pilot or controller to adjust the order. In the whole process, the pilot did not report any emergencies or for shorter vectors which meant normal cockpits. ”

Another official asked when the controller had to see sparks when the aircraft engine crashed into the runway, why did the ATC allow the pilot to take off again? The ATC should have told the pilot that he had no choice but to make an emergency landing immediately.

A retired pilot said the plane’s trajectory after the landing was canceled shows as if the pilot was unaware of the emergency situation. The aircraft flew far from the runway and almost above the Korangi industrial area, which took the aircraft out of flying range. It seems that the ATC and Karachi Radar did not react to force the aircraft to make an immediate landing.

“After taking off from the abandoned landing, the pilot asked for the next landing to adjust to a stable approach. For a stable approach, pilots are required to return as far as 10 miles from the side of the landing pad and after touring the landing it takes at least 10-12 minutes in the air to prepare for landing. Because the pilot had requested another stable approach which meant he was not aware of the damage to the aircraft engine until he lost his engine at 1,800 feet above the ground during the climb, which he announced to the ATC, when he left with no choice but to make a landing emergency emergency. ”

He said when the pilot lost the engine, he was very close to the final approach path of the Faisal runway, which was within the aircraft’s flying range. It is possible to make a forced landing there with only a 90 degree right turn.

Published in Dawn, 2 June 2020

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