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Monday Jun 01 2020

Airbus team leaves for France after completing PIA plane crash investigation

Photo: File

KARACHI: A technical team of Airbus left for France on Monday after completing its investigation into the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-8303 plane crash that took place in Karachi on May 22.

PIA flight PK-8303 suffered a tragic air crash in Karachi last month, killing 97 people on board while two passengers survived miraculously. Under the international aviation rules, the BEA, the French air safety investigation authority joined the Pakistan-led inquiry because the 15-year-old jet was designed in France.

On May 26, a team of Airbus technical advisers arrived in Karachi from France to investigate the crash. According to aviation sources, the Airbus team collected all the necessary evidence from the site of the crash and inspected the runway before departing.

Sources added the Airbus technical advisers will prepare an initial report of the plane crash in France while work on decoding data from the flight recorder and cockpit voice recorder will begin from tomorrow.

Some members of the Pakistani investigation team will also travel to France for the decoding of the equipment.

In an earlier tweet, BEA had confirmed Pakistani investigators would fly to France along with the French team.

"Thanks a lot [Aircraft Accident and Investigation Board] AAIB from Pakistan for the coordination, organization and support provided."

Karachi plane crash: 97 killed, only two survive

The PIA plane crashed into a narrow residential street in Karachi, damaging several houses in a densely-populated area in the vicinity of the airport. Of the 99 people aboard, 97 were killed and only two passengers survived.

Soon after the crash, authorities had cordoned off the site and banned the transfer of objects from there until the Airbus team arrived to carry out a formal investigation into the incident.

The PK-8303 tragedy has become the third most-catastrophic aviation disaster in the country's history.

In a letter to all airlines operating the A320 narrow-body jets, Airbus said it will provide full technical cooperation to the PIA, Air France, and engine manufacturer CFM International after the crash.

The ill-fated Airbus A320 plane was handed over to the PIA in 2014 and had completed 47,100 flight hours and 25,860 flight cycles until its crash.