This is absolutely tragic, especially as it comes just days after domestic flights resumed in Pakistan (they resumed this past Saturday after a two month suspension), and right at the end of Ramadan, as many people are traveling to see loved ones.
A Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 has crashed today. The flight was operated by a plane with the registration code AP-BLD, which is a 16 year old aircraft that was delivered in 2004. The plane joined PIA’s fleet in 2014, after operating for China Eastern for roughly a decade.
There were 98 people onboard, including 90 passengers and eight crew members. It’s not yet known how many fatalities there were, both among those on the plane, as well as those on the ground, given that the plane crashed into a populated residential area.
PIA flight 8303 was flying from Lahore to Karachi. This is a roughly 635 mile flight that was supposed to take around 90 minutes, and arrive at 2:30PM local time.
The incident happened on landing — the plane made a landing attempt at Karachi Airport and descended to below 300 feet, at which point the pilots aborted the landing. The crew had reported problems with the gear. The plane then climbed to over 3,000 feet, at which point the plane started to lose altitude and disappeared from radar.
Before the plane disappeared from radar the pilots had reported a “mayday” to aircraft control, noting that they had “lost engines.”
— Mansoor Ali Khan (@_Mansoor_Ali) May 22, 2020
#BREAKING: A passenger plane of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) crashed on Friday afternoon in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi, local media reported. There are no reports about how many passengers were on board. pic.twitter.com/IidKYcckFd
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) May 22, 2020
- At around 4min45sec into the recording you can hear the pilot reporting the go around
- At around 9min5sec the pilot reports that the plane has “lost engines”
- At around 9min30sec the pilot reports “mayday, mayday, mayday,” and ATC informs him that both runways are available for the airplane to land
- That’s the last that’s heard from PK8303
PIA’s last major crash was on December 7, 2016, when an ATR 42-500 crashed while enroute from Chitral to Islamabad, killing all 47 people onboard.
Absolutely tragic, and my thoughts are with those onboard and their families…
(Featured image courtesy of Anna Zvereva)