ISLAMABAD: A transcript detail of the black box of fateful PK-661 – Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) ATR jet that crashed near Havelian on December 7 killing all 47 people on board, has come to light and it was laid before the Senate Standing Committee on Rules of Procedures and Privileges, ARY News reported.
The black box extractions obtained by the Civil Aviation Authority reveals that pilot gave first call at 4.12pm with no indication of any impending danger. Barely two minutes later, the pilot signaled the May Day call at 4.14pm and informed that one engine of the jet has stopped working.
What happened before the crash?
According to black box findings, the last call sent by the pilot was at 4.17pm and it followed by the jet’s disappearance from radar.
The report also says that no effort was made to land the jet at any point during the emergency situation.
Secretary Civil Aviation Irfan Elahi also revealed before the Senate committee that it was same jet used by the prime minister to fly to Gwadar a week before the deadly tragedy.
He claimed that the black box data was 100pc unaltered and the investigation was conducted independently, without any involvement of the PIA and the CAA.
However, the report doesn’t mention the actual cause of the crash.
The initial report of the crash prepared by the CAA had reportedly suggested that the ill-fated aircraft had been flying smoothly at 13,375 feet when its left engine malfunctioned, exploded and damaged a wing bringing down the plane in the mountainous area near Abbottabad.
After the crash, then PIA chairman Azam Saigol told a press conference: “This plane was technically sound and was checked in October,” he said, adding the captain had flown more than 12,000 hours and the aircraft was nine years old.
“Our focus now is to retrieve all the dead bodies,” he added, vowing a full investigation.
‘A great tragedy’
The dead included Junaid Jamshed, religious preacher, as well as senior local officials and three foreigners — two Austrians and one Chinese.
Dozens of friends and family members gathered at hospitals in Islamabad and Rawalpindi to try to identify the badly charred and dismembered remains.
Relatives have been asked to submit DNA samples to help the identification process.
“My friend died in the plane crash, it is a great tragedy for me as he was my childhood friend,” said Murad Khan from Chitral as he waited at the Pakistan Institute for Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad after the deadly incident.
“His relatives have not arrived yet. As I work in Islamabad I am here to receive his body. I don’t know if I will see his face for the last time or not.”
Raja Aamir, whose mother died in the crash, said: “The sudden death of our mother is a great loss for our family — 40 to 50 members of my family have arrived here in Islamabad we don’t know where we will stay.”
Funeral prayers were later held for the deceased at PIMS which were attended by relatives, airline officials and hospital staff.
ATRs grounded, and later cleared
Pakistan’s national carrier had grounded its 10 ATR turboprop planes couple of days after a crash that killed 47 people and a second aircraft reported technical issues shortly before it was supposed to take off overnight.
Another PIA ATR faced “technical issues” on December 11 just before it was set to take off from Multan on a flight to Karachi and was called back to its parking bay, though the airline denied media reports that one of the engines caught fire.
Later, all the ATRs were cleared for flying operations after ‘thorough’ shakedown tests.
Footage of the site taken moments after crash
— azhar khan (@Azharkh4) December 7, 2016