Executive Director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Patrick Ky, has said that pilots’ rustiness after the suspension of air travel around the world during the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic might inadvertently have contributed to the plane crash involving PIA’s Airbus A320 that occurred in May earlier this year.
On May 22, a Karachi-bound PIA flight PK-8303 had crashed in Model Colony near Jinnah International Airport Karachi, killing 97 out of 99 people on board.
While addressing a virtual media briefing organized by the Airlines for Europe (A4U), Europe’s top aviation-safety official said:
The PK-8303 pilots did not seem to be as fluent in the way they were conducting their flights as they should have. If you haven’t flown for three months, six months, you need to be retrained in some way in order to come back.
Ky also questioned the maintenance of PIA’s aircraft after sitting idle during the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
From a safety perspective, we were concerned with the PIA’s return to operations. An Aircraft is not like a washing machine. You need to perform a certain number of tasks in order to ensure it is safe.
Back in June, EASA had suspended Pakistan International Airline’s (PIA) authorization to operate in European Union member countries for the next 6 months after the Minister for Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, in the National Assembly while presenting the investigation report PK-8303 crash, disclosed that 150 out of 434 PIA pilots possessed fake licenses.