PIA urges patience as flight PK8303 crash speculation soar

Pakistan International Airlines is urging to avoid speculation about probable causes that might have led to the flight PK8303 crash. The appeal comes following a release of what is alleged to be the recording of the A320 pilot’s last conversion with the ATC and headlines in various media sources claiming he ignored three warnings of the controllers just before the downing. 

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) released a statement updating the flight PK8303 crash aftermath on May 26, 2020. In it, the airline reinstated Arshad Malik’s, the CEO of the carrier, previous appeal to the media to avoid “speculations made by some self-acclaimed aviation experts at this time of grief and sorrow”. The inquiry will be held in due course, the statement read. 

On May 26, 2020, a team from the French Civil Aviation Safety Investigation Authority (BEA) arrived in Karachi and visited the crash site. BEA’s specialists will assist the Pakistani authorities, namely the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board, which is leading the investigation of the accident. The preliminary report is expected to be completed within three months, by the end of August 2020. 

But while the official authorities are just starting to unravel the chain of events that led to 97 people’s deaths, fingers are already pointed to the airline’s pilot. 

Headlines in various media outlets suggest that the pilot ignored three warnings by air traffic control (ATC), including notifications to lower the plane’s altitude. Similar content to that described in the reports, can also be heard in an audio recording circulating the social media. The recording is allegedly the last conversation between PIA PK8303 flight crew and ATC. 

Pakistan International Airlines flight PK8303 coming from Lahore crashed just outside the destination in Karachi Airport, Pakistan, on May 22, 2020. Of the 99 people (89 passengers and eight crew) onboard the Airbus A320, two passengers survived the accident. Eleven people were injured on the ground.

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