The accident highlighted the sad situation for Pakistan International Airlines, the national airline, and after the accident, Prime Minister Imran Khan demanded an immediate investigation.
The airline has experienced large financial losses in recent decades. Corruption, nepotism, over-staffing, lack of quality control and favoritism in appointments due to political pressure have affected the airline, and attempts by successive governments to make it a for-profit entity have failed. .
Added to these problems is the airline’s history of air disasters. The deadliest was in 2010, when an Airbus flying from Karachi crashed into a hill, killing all 152 on board. In 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames after one of its two turboprop engines failed, killing 48 people.
The aviation minister presented an alarming statistic about Pakistani aviation, saying that 40 percent of pilots in the country were flying on fake licenses.
According to a preliminary government report on the May 22 accident, air traffic controllers warned pilots of the plane’s “excessive height” as it prepared to land, “but the landing approach was not interrupted.”
Ten nautical miles from the runway, when the plane should have been at 2,500 feet, it was 7,200, Khan said.
The landing gear was not down at the time of the landing attempt, according to the report.
“The plane touched the surface of the runway on its engines,” he said. “The flight crew applied the reverse power of the engine and initiated a braking action. Both engines scrubbed the track in several places, causing damage to both. “