An investigation report of Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) plane that crashed near Havelian in 2016 has been presented to Prime Minister of Pakistan.
In December 2016, the ill-fated PK-661, en route to Islamabad from Chitral, crashed near Havelian due to a technical fault. All 47 people aboard, including renowned religious scholar Junaid Jamshed and Deputy Commissioner (DC) Chitral Usama Warraich, embraced martyrdom in the accident.
Like every other crash in Pakistani history, an investigation was ordered into the accident that was never meant to be released for the public. However, on the directives of Prime Minister Khan, the report of the Karachi plane crash followed by Havelian crash, and all 50 crashes in the aviation history of PIA will be made public.
The report presented to PM Khan identifies that the most crucial part of the plane was broken before it took off, while the other was faulty. A metallic analysis of the plane revealed that its OSG pin was fitted incorrectly that had broken down before the crash. The last maintenance job of the ill-fated jet was carried out in Canada, where not only the OSG was modified but also the part number was changed.
When the ATR aircraft took off from Chitral for Islamabad, the Stage One blade (PT 1) of the engine’s power turbine was broken and dislocated, causing the power turbine shaft to rotate, while OSG pin was also broken.
The investigation team suspects that the PT 1 blade and the pin had broken when the plane was on the way to Chitral from Peshawar before the accident. It was, nonetheless, diverted for the next flight.
According to the report, the malfunctioning started at 4:05 pm, mainly due to fuel contamination in the engine oil which combined with the broken OSG pin PT 1 blade reduced the speed of the propeller after which the propeller electronic control malfunctioned.
Five minutes into the process, the engine number one failed at 4:10 pm, and at 4:11 pm, the OSG stopped working. All these faults together caused a new type of malfunction that had never been seen before in ATR planes. Before the captain could figure out anything, the plane crashed at 4:20 pm at Havelian.
The report also identified that the change in engine design was the manufacturer’s fault who proposed a corrected design, but PIA management was too lazy to get it done in time. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) also did not properly monitor the process.
The investigation team has suggested that the national flag-carrier should hold an audit of the airline and to strictly follow the rules regarding aircrafts’ maintenance and be very careful in the future to avoid such mishaps.