PK-8303 Crash: CAA Report States Captain Ignored ATC Instructions

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has highlighted a number of violations made by the captain of ill-fated Pakistan International Airline (PIA) aircraft that crashed on May 22.

The report was sent by the Additional Director Operations of Civil Aviation Authority to PIA’s safety department on Tuesday. It revealed that the pilot of the Airbus A320 aircraft avoided several instructions of the air traffic controller (ATC).

The report highlighted that the plane was at high altitude before its approach point and the ATC had warned the pilot of PK-8303 about it. The aircraft was at 3,500 feet at four nautical miles that are considered high from the approach profile.


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Moreover, the speed of the aircraft was more than 250 knots before landing which is higher than the required acceleration.

The air traffic controller warned the captain twice and asked him to turn the jet to 180 degrees besides maintaining the required altitude, but the instructions were completely ignored.

The report also included a written response from the air traffic controller and approach tower controllers that were submitted to the investigation team on May 26 during the probe of the crash.

The response mentioned that the approach tower controller had handled the flight on its way from Lahore to Karachi. The task to safely land the flight was given to the air traffic controller after 10 nautical miles.


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In its response, ATC has revealed that when he took over, the plane was at 3,000-foot altitude, whereas, it needed to maintain a 1,800-foot altitude before landing.

The pilot had informed the ATC that he will manage the landing at given speed and altitude, but he attempted the first landing without opening landing gear, he said.

Both engines of the aircraft were badly damaged after hitting the ground as the plane landed without opening landing gear. It seems that the captain forgot to open the landing gear while maintaining the speed and altitude of the aircraft, said the air traffic controller.

Later, the captain asked permission to land once again which was granted. He informed ATC that both engines were not working, and they were alerted for an emergency.


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According to ATC, and approach tower controller, the captain had told them that he was calm and will manage to land the aircraft.

However, the ill-fated aircraft just fell short of the destination by less than a mile and crashed in a residential area with more than 90 passengers and eight crew members on board. Only two passengers survived the deadly accident.


    • Happened in 1985 as well, when PIA 747 landed on Chaklala runway, pilots forgot to open landing gear. nothing new, that that there wasn’t even warning telling flight crew of landing gear not opened, this time it was audible and still ignored.

  • It is no -brainer that no matter what the facts are, the pilot has always been an easy scapegoat for the companies. Especially if the company is state owned, admitting a mistake by the company can amount to huge loss.


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