PIA crash – pilot ignored air traffic control

Pakistan International Airlines has been told by the country’s aviation authorities that immediately prior to the crash of its Airbus A320 in Karachi on May 22, the passenger plane’s pilot had ignored warnings from air traffic control that its descent was too steep and too fast, a spokesperson for the flag-carrying carrier confirmed.

The plane crashed in the Modal Colony area of the capital city after a failed first landing attempt and after the pilot had reported the loss of both engines. 97 of the 99 passengers and crew on board were killed, along with one person in the ground.

It is believed that on the first failed landing the plane had scraped both engines on the runway during an unstable approach. The pilot had been warned twice by an approach controller to abort his approach, which he subsequently ignored. According to the controller, the approach was too steep, and the planes speed was above the runway threshold. The pilot had been advised that its altitude was too high when approximately 100km from the airport, though the pilot advised that he was comfortable for the descent.

The plane’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data box are currently being decoded by French air accident agency BEA, while Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Pakistan’s Aviation Minister, has advised that an initial report on the crash will be presented to parliament on June 22.

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