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Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320-214 plane crash
Karachi, Pakistan

Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320-214 plane crash - Karachi, Pakistan

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Karachi, PakistanThe Airbus A320 operated by Pakistan International Airlines took off from Lahore, Pakistan, for a passenger flight to Karachi, Pakistan. 91 passengers and 8 crewmembers were onboard. After a first aborted approach on to Karachi the plane positioned for a second one, but crashed short of the runway in a residential area. 97 occupants were killed, and 2 passengers survived. 4 people on the ground were taken to hospitals with burns.

During its first approach, the aircraft experienced problem with the extension of its landing gear. The plane touched down on the runway with retracted gear during their first approach, both CFM56 engines striking the asphalt, but then went around. Ground observers reported sparks from the aircraft when it touched the ground. The Airbus A320 climbed again and positioned for another approach. While on a left downwind, 5 minutes after go around, the crew requested to turn left immediately reporting they had lost both engines, and declared a Mayday. The RAT (RAM Air Turbine – System proving electrical and hydraulic power the plane when both engines are lost) deployed, as per design. The Air Traffic Controllers cleared the plane to land. In a nose-up position, the aircraft stalled and crashed in a residential area, 1350 meters (0.75 NM) short of the runway threshold, and burst into flames. 19 houses were damaged.

The investigation confirms that during the first landing attempt, the landing gear was retracted. Marks on the runway suggest the engines made scraped the runway surface. The crew did not report any anomaly or emergency as they should have done in the event of a landing gear failure. The airport therefore did not spread any foam on the runway in anticipation of a belly landing. Most likely the crew was not mentally prepared for a belly landing and went around when they realized the engines were scraping the runway. The engines may have been damaged when they scraped the ground.

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The final seconds of PIA's A320 caught by a surveillance camera

The aircraft had accumulated 47,124 hours in the 16 years since it was built in 2004. The aircraft had last been checked on Mar 21st 2020 and had flown 8 sectors since, the last sector before the accident flight was on May 21st 2020.

Aircraft similar to the one which crashed (Airbus A320-214)
Aircraft similar to the one which crashed (Airbus A320-214)
Karachi, Pakistan
Karachi, Pakistan (Red dot on map)

Photos of the Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 crash