The pilot of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) that had recently crashed in a residential area in Karachi, had ignored warnings from air traffic control. According to the details, the pilot had ignored the directions on plane height and speed as the aircraft approached for landing. According to a report from air traffic control, the flight left the Lahore airport at 1:05 pm (local time) and was scheduled to land at the Jinnah International Aiport in Karachi at 2:30 pm (local time).
At 2:30 pm, the plane was 15 nautical miles from Karachi at Makli, flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet above the ground instead of 7,000 feet, when the air traffic control issued its first warning to the pilot to lower the plane's altitude.
Instead of lowering the plane altitude, the pilot responded by saying that he was satisfied. When only 10 nautical miles were left till the Karachi Airport, the plane was at an altitude of 7,000 feet instead of 3,000 feet.
The report stated that air traffic control issued a second warning to the pilot to lower the plane's altitude.
However, the pilot responded again by stating that he was satisfied and would handle the situation, saying he was ready for landing.
According to an earlier report, prepared by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA), the plane's engines had scraped the runway thrice on the pilot's first attempt to land the plane. It caused friction and sparks.
Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Abdul Sattar Kokhar said the Airbus A320 was carrying 91 passengers and eight crew members. The only other survivor of the crash was Zafar Masood, a bank executive.
In a telephone interview from his hospital bed, Zubair, a mechanical engineer, said flight PK8303 had taken off on time from the eastern city of Lahore at 1 p.m. It was a smooth, uneventful flight until the aircraft began its descent near Karachi shortly before 3 p.m.
He said the aircraft made three attempts to land, once seeming to almost land and then take off again.
“Suddenly the plane jerked violently, once and then again,” said Zubair. The aircraft turned and the pilot’s voice came over the intercom. They were experiencing engine trouble and the landing could be “troublesome,” the pilot said. That was the last thing Zubair remembered until he woke up in a scene of chaos.
“I saw so much smoke and fire. I heard people crying, children crying.”
He crawled his way out of the smoke and rubble and was eventually pulled from the ground and rushed into an ambulance.
“I’m very thankful to Allah for granting me a second life,” he said. “It is a miracle.”
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