Airbus team reaches Karachi for plane crash probe
An Airbus team comprising French experts arrived in Karachi on Tuesday morning in connection with the probe into the PIA plane crash, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
During their 16-hour-long stay in the port city, the team members visit the plane crash site and provide technical assistance to the Pakistani authorities.
Meanwhile, the team will carry the black box with them to France for decoding – besides engine parts – which will help ascertaining the real cause behind the crash.
On the other hand, the father of Sajjad Gul – the pilot of the ill-fated PIA flight – expressed his serious reservations of over the investigation team announced by the Pakistan government as he called for impartial probe into the incident, reported 24News HD TV channel.
The Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) has already conveyed its unhappiness over the composition of the inquiry team.
Earlier, the Airbus said it was assisting in the investigation. “In line with ICAO annex 13, Airbus is providing full technical assistance to the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses [Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety] of France and to the Pakistani Authorities in charge of the investigation. Technical support is also being provided by Pakistan International Airlines and engine manufacturer CFM.”
Earlier the runway inspection report mentioned that the plane’s left engine touched the runway at 4,500 feet and the right one at 5,500 feet. However, plane’s belly didn’t touch which enabled the pilot to take off again.
The Jinnah International Airport’s runway is around 10,000 feet long and there were marks of the engines on the runway between around 6,000 to 7,000 feet.
Pictures taken of the plane minutes before it crashed indicated that its Ram Air Turbine (RAT) was deployed. White puffs of smoke could also be seen coming from the engine as well as dark marks on both the engines at the undersides. Deployment of the RAT means that both the engines of the plane have been failed or failing.
Images captured by local photographer group, Pakistan’s Planespotters, appeared to show both engine cowlings of the A320 having scratch marks implying contact with the ground.
Also, the aircraft is pictured with its Ram Air Turbine (RAT) deployed with white smoke trailing from each engine. The RAT is a small turbine that can be manually or automatically deployed as a last resort electric source for the aircraft’s main electrical supply.
It is automatically deployed should the main electrical bus bars fail to gain power from either both engine generators, which only have power if the engines are turned on, or from the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), which is normally used during ground operations or as part of a coordinated response to an emergency situation.
Meanwhile, a new satellite video shows the pilot of the ill-fated PIA plane first tried to land the plane on the runway, but then took it off again. For the next 20 seconds, location of the plane is showing over the runway. Then the pilot turned his plane left and continued to fly for another two minutes.
As the pilot said in his conversation with the air traffic controller that he had lost both engines of his plane, he tried to take a short cut to reach the runway again. However, the plane disappeared from the radar as the pilot was trying to reach the runway for the second landing.
The plane was just short of the runway perimeter when it struck houses in the residential area.