Islamabad: Pakistan is still in a state of shock and mourning over the death of 97 people, including crew members, on board the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Flight PK-8303 from Lahore to Karachi that went down moments before landing on May 22.
After the crash, while Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) constituted a four-member probe committee and instructed it to conclude investigations within three months, Airbus, the manufacturer of the aircraft, an A-320, announced to conduct an independent inquiry into the accident and sent its team of technical experts to Pakistan.
The 11-member team of technical experts from Airbus, that arrived on Monday, spent a busy day on Tuesday and visited the crash site in Karachi’s Model Colony and collected evidences, recorded a video and spoke to officials from the Fire Department there.
The Airbus team examined various parts of the engine of the plane, its landing gear, wings and flight control system and took photos of the houses and buildings damaged by the crash.
Officials and staff members of PIA, its Flight Safety department and engineering wing briefed the French team about the past record of the airplane as well as its pilot. The team also simulated the entire flight operation of the ill-fated plane — from takeoff to its crash-landing — and discussed with the engineers and flight officers about their experience of handling the said Airbus plane.
Earlier, the probe team inspected the runway at Jinnah International Airport and also visited the air traffic control tower and radar control station.
The Airbus experts were expected to take the aircraft’s black box recorders along with them. They were scheduled to leave Pakistan late on Tuesday.
The black box comprises the plane’s flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder that are expected to contain vital technical details about the plane.
After the crash, The Netherlands-headquartered international aerospace company in a message on social media had announced it would run an independent investigation into the crash that was reportedly caused due to an engine failure.
Soon after the incident, Pakistani authorities had cordoned off the crash site and banned transfer of any object from the site until the Airbus team arrived to carry out its investigation, according to a report.
PIA and Air France will assist Airbus in the investigation.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s CAA has decided to upgrade and overhaul its air traffic control system in view of a preliminary crash report prepared by CAA. In that report, lack of communication between the pilot of the doomed plane and the air traffic control was cited as one of the reasons behind the crash.