- Ghulam Sarwar Khan pilots were discussing coronavirus situation throughout the flight.
Presenting the report on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crash before the National Assembly (NA), Minister for Civil Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan said the incident occurred due to the negligence of both the cockpit crew as well as the Air Traffic Control (ATC).
Speaking on the floor of the Parliament on Wednesday, the minister said the initial investigation report states that there was apparently no technical fault in the A320 Airbus. "Flights were suspended due to corona, the plane took its first flight on May 7 and the crash happened on May 22," he said.
Khan added that both the pilots and the ATC ignored 'standard protocols'. He said the pilot ignored the instructions given by the control tower and switched the landing from auto to manual.
"At a distance of 10 miles from runway, plane should have been at an altitude of 10,200 feet but it was around 7,000 feet. This was the first irregularity," the minister said.
He added that throughout the flight, the two pilots were discussing the coronavirus situation. "They were worried about their families and were not focused," Khan told NA.
On May 22, PIA flight PK8303, carrying 99 people including 8 crew members, crashed into a residential area near Karachi airport. There were only two survivors.