Evidence from PIA PK8303 black boxes to be made public

Shadman Samee

Pakistani experts investigating the crash of PIA flight PK8303 returned from Le Bourget, France with the evidence extracted from the cockpit voice and flight data recorders by the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA). 

On May 22, 2020, Pakistan International Airlines flight PK8303 crashed just outside the Karachi Airport, Pakistan. 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.

The content of the black boxes should be revealed to the public within the month, with a parliamentary hearing set for June 22, 2020. The most anticipated information is the status of the landing gear at the moment when the aircraft touched down, and if the flight crew was conscious of the landing gear status before they attempted to land. 

Preliminary elements hint that the aircraft, with its gears retracted, attempted a belly landing. Engines impacted the runway 25L three times, as revealed by the scratch marks it left. 

According to local media, Karachi air traffic control warned the flight crew three times that their altitude was too high during approach, to which the pilot responded by saying that he was “satisfied.” The information was confirmed on June 2, 2020, by Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Following the data extraction, Airbus reached out to the operators of the aircraft type to rule out any inherent technical problem, according to FlightGlobal.

An engine and the landing gear of the aircraft are still stuck on the roofs of two houses in the residential area where it crashed, the Express Tribune reports. They were left there over the fear that the buildings could collapse. The CAA will now have the task to secure the crash site and make sure the houses are structurally sound.

In parallel to the crash investigation, a second inquiry was opened after millions in cash were found in two bags that were recovered from the wreckage of flight PK8303.


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