A plane crash that killed 97 people in Pakistan last month was the result of a human error by the pilot and air traffic control, according to an initial disaster report.
They failed to follow the protocol, said aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, announcing the findings in parliament.
He also said the pilots had been distracted due to coronavirus pandemic.
The passenger plane landed at homes in Karachi on May 22nd.
Mr Khan said there was nothing wrong with the plane, an Airbus A320, driven by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
“The pilot ignored the instructions of the air traffic controllers [ATC] and the ATC, on the other hand, did not inform the pilot of the engine crash, ”Mr. Khan added.
The passenger plane was on its way from Lahore when it crashed in the residential area after trying to land at the city’s Jinnah International Airport.
After an aborted landing, she came back, lost her engines, and made a major call.
Only two passengers survived.
What happened on board?
The alleged audio of the conversation between air traffic control and a pilot for the second attempt was published shortly after the crash by Pakistani media, in which the pilot is heard saying the plane has “lost engines”.
An air traffic controller asks if it will perform a “belly landing”, to which the pilot responds “majday, majdhe, majday” – the final communication from the plane.
Muhammad Zubair, one of the two surviving passengers, said there were 10-15 minutes between the first landing attempt and the collision. “No one was aware that the plane was about to crash; they were flying the plane calmly,” he said.
He recalled how he lost consciousness during the sudden descent, then woke up to smoke and screaming.
The PIA said the plane had joined the fleet in 2014 and had passed the annual inspection of its air capability last November.
The crash came just days after Pakistan began allowing commercial flights to resume after coronavirus restrictions were eased.
How is Pakistan’s security record?
Pakistan has an aviation safety record, including a number of plane crashes.
In 2010, a plane operated by private airline Airblue crashed near Islamabad, killing all 152 people on board – the deadliest air disaster in Pakistan’s history.
In 2012, a Boeing 737-200 operated by Pakistan’s Bhoja Air crashed in bad weather on its approach to land in Rawalpindi, killing all 121 passengers and six crew.
And in 2016, a Pakistan Airlines International plane exploded in flames as it was traveling from northern Pakistan to Islamabad, killing 47 people.
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