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Pilot Of Crashed Plane Was Discussing Coronavirus Moments Before Accident: Minister

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Federal Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar on Wednesday said the pilots of the flight PK-8303 were not focused on landing because they were talking about the coronavirus situation in the country and their families moments before the accident that claimed 97 lives.

On May 22, the aircraft carrying 99 passengers crashed in Karachi’s Model Colony, raising fresh concerns on the dismal performance of the national flag carrier.

Addressing a session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, Sarwar said the pilots were talking about the pandemic and were concerned about their families.

The minister also laid blame on the air traffic control, saying they should’ve cautioned the pilot when they saw fire erupting in the engines of the plane. The pilot, he maintained, ignored the instructions by the control tower.

Ghulam Sarwar, however, refused to accept that there were any faults with the plane, saying it was perfectly fine.

On Monday, the minister filed an initial report to Prime Minister Imran Khan, wherein he held the pilot and the air traffic control responsible for the accident.

PIA’s Privatisation

Opposing the demand from some quarters, the minister said that the PIA would not be privatised. Instead, he added, it would be restructured. He said that the national flag carrier needs major changes, and added that an inquiry has been launched against the pilots with fake licenses and politicising of the hiring process.


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Naya Daur