It seems as if pilots are flying missiles, not planes: CJP

Summons CAA DG as Supreme Court takes suo motu notice: Says Civil Aviation Authority issues licences after receiving money

By: News Desk      Published: 03:23 PM, 25 Jun, 2020
It seems as if pilots are flying missiles, not planes: CJP
File photo.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Thursday remarked that it seemed as if pilots were flying missiles and “no one knows where these missiles filled with passengers will hit and explode”, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Taking suo motu notice of the bogus licences issued to pilots, the chief justice sought a reply from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) DG. The CAA issued licences to pilots after receiving money, he observed.

The chief justice said he was surprised while watching the National Assembly proceedings where Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan revealed that the 15-year-old plane did not have any fault. The entire responsibility has been shifted to the pilots and the CAA for the Karachi plane crash, Chief Justice Gulzar added as he took suo motu notice of the matter during the proceedings of the coronavirus case.

In the notice, the CAA DG has been asked to explain what action has been taken against the pilots with bogus degrees.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Wednesday said the ill-fated PIA Airbus was fully fit for flying and both the pilots and the air traffic controller were responsible for the May 22 Karachi plane crash.

Out of the 860 pilots in Pakistan, the degrees of 262 of them were found to be fake, said the minister, adding that how they could tell the world that 40 percent of the country’s pilots had bogus degrees.

He said show-cause notices were issued to 28 pilots and nine of them had admitted that they filed bogus documents. “No one would be forgiven. This issue shouldn’t be politicised. It is a matter of national security,” said the aviation minister who added that the PIA would be restructured, not privatised.

Addressing the National Assembly where he presented a preliminary report on the incident, Ghulam Sarwar said the cockpit crew – pilot and co-pilot were not fully focused and remained busy in talking about the coronavirus pandemic and how their family members had been infected by the virus, he told the House.

He said both engines had been badly damaged during the botched landing attempt but the pilots did not pay attention to the air traffic controller’s warning against landing without gaining altitude (go-around), claiming that they would manage the situation. The two pilots ignored the instructions given by the air traffic controller, said the aviation minister.

Promising that the people responsible for the deadly plane crash, who are alive, won’t be spared, the aviation minister said the plane, which had successfully completed seven flights after the restoration of operations, was on auto-landing. The pilots too were fully fit medically fit before the flight, he added.

Ghulam Sarwar said the last words of the pilot were “Ya Allah khair” (Allah have Mercy). The pilot, he added, was warned by the air traffic controller thrice.

But the cockpit voice recorder also revealed that the air traffic controller did not warn the pilot about the fire caught by the plane, said the minister.

He recalled that the plane crashes involving the Airblue and Bhoja Air were also a result of the negligence shown by the pilots, adding that the appointments had been made in the airline on political basis.