PIA plane crash: Work to remove airliner’s wreckage sans engine, avionics starts

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KARACHI: The process of removing the wreckage of the ill-fated PIA plane that crashed last week in the metropolis’ Model Colony started on Wednesday, with the exception of the airliner’s engine, landing gear, and avionics.

Removal of the wreckage commenced after permission from the Airbus investigation team that had arrived in Karachi on Tuesday. The experts have collected crucial evidence from the crash site as well.

Trawlers, heavy machinery, and various other vehicles were being used to move the pieces — including its cabin and tail — of the crashed plane; however, its engine, landing gear, and avionics were left behind until the Airbus’ team of experts completed their work.

The process was being monitored by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA), and the Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) engineering and technical ground support staff.

It was expected that drone cameras will be used during the investigation at the site and the 11-member investigative team will use forensics to probe the crash.

Moreover, sources added that the team, along with a local investigative group, will focus on finding the cockpit recorder today.

Visit to Jinnah airport’s control tower

The foreign investigative team also visited the radar room and air traffic control at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, sources informed Geo News.

During the visit, the foreign team reviewed arrangements for the take-off and landing of the aircraft. It also inspected various devices and tools in the radar room.

The investigation team directly observed on the radar the landing and take-off of aircraft and asked the air traffic controller on duty some questions.

The investigation team reviewed the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in case of receiving an emergency landing call.

The team of foreign experts have expressed satisfaction in the Pakistani investigative team. In a post on social media, the Airbus team said their counterpart under the Safety Investigation Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (Safety Investigation Board?) formed by the government of Pakistan was working in accordance with the rules and professional standards.

Airbus is conducting an independent investigation into the crash, which reportedly happened due to an engine failure.

Cockpit voice recorder of PIA flight PK-8303 still missing: spox

The cockpit voice recorder of the crashed plane, had still not been found by Tuesday, a spokesperson of the airline had confirmed.

PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez Khan had said that hectic efforts were being made to recover the voice recorder from the crash site.

The airline spokesperson said that the recorder might have fallen into one of the houses in Model Colony area.

He had requested the residents to hand it over to the authorities if they found it in their houses. “Voice recorder is important for the plane crash inquiry,” Khan said.

He also advised the citizens against keeping anything of the aircraft at their homes as memorial saying this could be dangerous for their safety.

The airline had on Saturday said that the black box of the jetliner was found, which included both the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder.

Karachi plane crash: 97 killed, only two survive

The PIA plane crashed into a narrow residential street in Karachi on Friday, damaging several houses in a densely-populated area in the vicinity of the airport. Of the 99 people aboard, 97 were killed and only two passengers survived.

Soon after the crash, authorities had cordoned off the site and banned the transfer of objects from there until the Airbus team arrived to carry out a formal investigation into the incident.

In an earlier letter, the Airbus team had said that they do not have any conclusive details regarding the crash.

The PIA and Air France will also assist the plane manufacturer in the investigation.

The PK-8303 tragedy has become the third most-catastrophic aviation disaster in the country’s history.

In a recent letter issued on Sunday to all airlines operating the A320 narrow-body jets, Airbus said it will provide full technical cooperation to the PIA, Air France, and engine manufacturer CFM International after the crash.

The ill-fated Airbus A320 plane was handed over to the PIA in 2014 and had completed 47,100 flight hours and 25,860 flight cycles until its crash.

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