PIA plane crash: Pilot ignored 3 warnings from Air Traffic Control to lower altitude

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KARACHI: The pilot of the ill-fated PIA plane that crashed a couple of days ago had ignored warnings from air traffic control about the plane’s height and speed as the aircraft approached for landing.

The PK-8303 tragedy has become the third most-catastrophic aviation disaster in Pakistan’s history.

The plane crashed into a narrow residential street in Karachi on Friday, dealing significant damage to houses in a densely-populated area. Of the 99 people aboard, 97 were killed and only two passengers survived.

According to a report from air traffic control seen by Geo News, the flight left the Lahore airport at 01:05pm and was scheduled to land at the Jinnah International Aiport in Karachi at 2:30pm.

The report said the plane had enough fuel in it to fly for two hours and 34 minutes, while its total flying time was recorded at one hour and 33 minutes.

At 2:30pm, the plane was 15 nautical miles from Karachi at Makli, flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet above the ground instead of 7,000 when air traffic control issued its first warning to the pilot to lower the plane’s altitude.

Instead of lowering the plane’s altitude, the pilot responded by saying that he was satisfied. When only 10 nautical miles were left till the Karachi airport, the plane was at an altitude of 7,000 feet instead of 3,000 feet.

The report states that air traffic control issued a second warning to the pilot to lower the plane’s altitude. However, the pilot responded again by stating that he was satisfied and would handle the situation, saying he was ready for landing.

PK-8303’s engines scraped runway thrice: CAA report

According to an earlier report, prepared by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA), the plane’s engines had scraped the runway thrice on the pilot’s first attempt to land the plane, causing friction and sparks. Three long marks have been observed and recorded by the PCAA’s experts on the runway.