Pilot's mistake caused Airblue crash, body told
29 June, 2012
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights on Thursday was informed that the crash of the Airblue aircraft was result of its pilot's mistake.
The committee was given a briefing about the investigations regarding the incident. Defence Ministry Junior Secretary Iftikhar Ahmed Mir briefed the committee. MNA Riaz Fatiana chaired the meeting at the Parliament House. The committee was told that the crash of the Airblue aircraft was caused by its pilot's mistake.
"The pilot was nearly 65-year-old and his co-pilot was very junior. The pilot of the aircraft was retired from air force. He did not pay attention to what the computers again and again indicated when the craft had reached a height usually considered dangerous, as there were always chances of collision of the craft with the land. The computer had again and again indicated terrain ahead but the pilot did not pay any attention. Resultantly, a crash took place," Mir said.
"The Airblue administration has paid Rs 5.5 million as compensation to the bereaved families, while the government has provided Rs 0.5 million to each family. Out of 152 people, including the crew, the families of 103 have received compensation, payments of 31 are in process, while 10 are in litigation process. Bhoja airlines has also given Rs 5 million to 13 bereaved families out of a total of 50 families," he said.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Deputy Managing Director Junaid Younas spoke in the meeting about the issues being faced by the airline, saying it had several problems regarding maintenance, poor quality services and delays in flights. "Delays in flights are due to the fact that we have to make sure before we go on flight that our aircraft have safety measures up to the international standards, without any technical fault," Younas said. "The total fleet of aircraft with the PIA is 39, while only 28 are operational. The schedule of PIA flights is made according to 39 aircraft, which is the main cause behind delays in flights," Mir said.
The PIA had established a task force in order to avoid any mismanagement during the upcoming Hajj flights, he told the committee. "The regulatory system of the PIA is very weak," the chairman of the committee remarked. The committee condemned the VIP treatment provided to families of certain bureaucrats, military officers, judges and diplomats.
Passengers were usually not properly entertained at airports and in case the flights were delayed, passengers were not provided anything to eat, the committee chairman said, adding that if flights were delayed for 12 to16 hours, as had usually been with the PIA and Shaheen Airlines, the passengers were not provided rest rooms by their respective airlines.
The standing committee directed PIA senior officials to make improvement in the overall system and present a report in 30 days.