What we know: Pakistani A320 air crash

Aviation Updates Philippines – On Friday, a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Airbus A320-214, with registry AP-BLD, crashed into a residential area near Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan. Flight PK-8303 departed from Lahore bound for Karachi.

The air traffic controller at Karachi cleared the aircraft for an approach for Runway 25L at around 2:30 pm local time. Due to a problem on its nose landing gear, the pilot flying (PF) decided to go around. Then, the aircraft prepared for a second landing attempt but never made it.

AP-BLD, according to the communication between the pilots and ATC, had dual engine failure. Five minutes after the go-around, the PF sent a mayday call which indicated a life-threatening emergency. Although Karachi ATC cleared both runways 25L and 25R for landing, flight PK-8303 impacted a residential area a hundred meters short of the runway.

A CCTV footage revealed that the aircraft stalled on short finals given the dual engine failure. A few minutes prior, the ram air turbine (RAT) was either manually or automatically deployed, indicating a complete loss of power.

Aboard the flight were 91 passengers and 8 crew members. To date, exact numbers have yet to be confirmed with conflicting reports from various media sources. However, initial reports from Airbus says the flight had 99 passengers and crew on-board.

Multiple casualties were reported from the aircraft and, since the crash site was a residential area, on the ground. A report from Pakistan's leading newspaper, Dawn, reported that Sindh health authorities confirmed 97 have succumbed to the crash while two miraculously survived.

Just hours after the crash, European aircraft manufacturer Airbus confirmed the unfortunate incident in Karachi. The aircraft involved was manufactured in Europe by Airbus; hence, the technical expertise of the planemaker will be significant to determine the root cause of the crash.

"Airbus regrets to confirm that an A320 aircraft operated by Pakistan International Airlines was involved in an accident during flight PK8303 from Lahore to Karachi on May 22, 2020. Initial reports indicate there were 91 passengers and 8 crew members on-board. Our thoughts are with all those affected," Airbus said.

Airbus will continue to provide technical assistance to concerned authorities with regards to the conduct of an official investigation. Engine manufacturer CFM and PIA will also provide technical assistance in line with ICAO annex 13 on aircraft accident and incident investigation.
Footage from the crash site revealed the chaos and fear following the crash. The Pakistani army immediately dispatched its assets as emergency assets rushed to the scene.

Our hearts go out to all passengers, crew, and residents who died in Pakistan.