New Delhi: ‘Sir, mayday, mayday, mayday, Pakistan 830… 3’, the pilot of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight, that crashed near Karachi airport was heard saying in his last call with the Air Traffic Controller (ATC), moments before the mishap took place that killed more than 100 people on board.Also Read - International Flights: Airline Suspends Flights From Kabul Citing Taliban Interference. Details Here
The ATC responded to the pilot by saying “both” runways at the Karachi airport were available for him to land Also Read - Another Pakistan Airlines Balloon Recovered in Jammu and Kashmir
When the pilot informed the ATC that he has lost both the engines on the Airbus A320 aircraft, the ATC officials asked him to confirm if he’s carrying out a “belly landing”. A few seconds later the pilot called “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday” (used as a distress signal in voice-procedure radio communications). Hearing this, the ATC responded,” “Both runways at the Karachi airport were available for him to land.” Also Read - US Bans Pakistan International Airlines Flights After Pilot License Scandal
The last few seconds conversation goes like this:
ATC: 8303, Approach.
Pilot: Ji, sir.
ATC: Appear to be turning left.
Pilot: We are proceeding direct, sir, we have lost engine.
ATC: Confirm you are carrying out belly landing?
ATC: Runway available to land at two-five. (runway identifier)
Pilot: Roger.Pilot: Sir, mayday, mayday, mayday, Pakistan 830… 3.
ATC: Pakistan 8303, roger sir, both runways available to land .
Zee News has access audio to the full conversation. Click here to listen
Earlier in the day, the PIA PK 8303 flight, carrying at least 99 passengers and eight crew members crashed into the densely populated vicinity called Jinnah Gardens, Model Colony, minutes before landing at the Jinnah International Airport.
PIA Spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez confirmed the crash while PIA CEO, Air Marshal Arshad Malik maintained that the plane seemed to have technical issues. “Unfortunately, today a tragic incident has occurred. I can tell this that the last words heard from the pilot were that there was some technical issue. And even though both runways were cleared for landing, the pilot wanted to take another turn,” the CEO said.
The crash came just days after Pakistan allowed the domestic flights to resume operations after being grounded for days due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his condolences over loss of lives in the flight crash and also wished a speedy recovery to those who have sustained injuries in the incident.
“Deeply saddened by the loss of life due to a plane crash in Pakistan. Our condolences to the families of the deceased, and wishing speedy recovery to those injured,” tweeted PM Modi.
Taking to the micro-blogging site, Pakistan PM Imran Khan said that he was ‘shocked and saddened’ by the crash. ”Shocked and saddened by the PIA crash. I am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi and with the rescue and relief teams on ground as this is the priority right now. Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers and condolences go to families of the deceased”, Khan tweeted.