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The moment doomed Pakistan Airbus scraped along runway after pilots ‘forgot’ to put wheels down

The doomed Pakistan International Airbus A320 which crashed in May was seen on CCTV scraping along the runway at Karachi airport after its pilots ‘forgot’ to put its wheels down for landing. 

The airliner plunged into a residential neighbourhood in Pakistan’s capital city, killing 97 of the 99 people on board after its pilots aborted an initial landing attempt. 

Investigators released images from previously unseen CCTV footage showing the plane skidding on the runway on its underside before pilots realised their mistake and climbed away again.

However, the probe into the disaster has also found that the crew of the crashed plane did begin to lower the landing gear during their first approach but then raised the wheels again before attempting to touch down. 

The doomed Pakistan International Airbus A320 which crashed in May was seen on CCTV (pictured) scraping along the runway at Karachi airport after its pilots ‘forgot’ to put its wheels down for landing

The airliner, pictured with damage to both of its engines after its initial landing attempt, plunged into a residential neighbourhood in Pakistan's capital city, killing 97 of the 99 people

The airliner, pictured with damage to both of its engines after its initial landing attempt, plunged into a residential neighbourhood in Pakistan’s capital city, killing 97 of the 99 people

The plane crashed after both engines – apparently damaged by the encounter with the runway – failed during Captain Sajjad Gull, Pakistan Airline’s most-senior pilot, and his co-pilot’s efforts to fly around for a second attempt. 

In findings revealed by aviation news site Flight Global, The Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan detailed a mismanaged landing approach and catalogue of failures by the plane’s pilots.

These included the aircraft reportedly remaining too high during its approach and pilots then allegedly ignoring a request by air traffic controllers to fly in a loop – known as an orbit – to lose height.

Flight data recorded that the landing gear was selected as ‘down’ during part of the plane’s descent.

But later in the approach, when the plane was much nearer to the ground, data shows that the landing gear lever was selected as ‘up’. 

Pilots had allegedly ignored ‘repeated’ requests by the the air traffic controller to abandon the landing and warnings about the plane’s excessive height. 

The probe into the disaster has also found that the crew of the crashed plane did begin to lower the landing gear during their first approach but then raised the wheels again before attempting to touch down

The probe into the disaster has also found that the crew of the crashed plane did begin to lower the landing gear during their first approach but then raised the wheels again before attempting to touch down

Voice recordings from the cockpit reportedly showed that warnings that the landing gear was not down and that the plane was going too fast were ‘disregarded’.

The airport’s controllers then granted landing permission without apparently noticing that the landing gear was not down.      

‘The landing was undertaken with landing-gears retracted,’ Flightglobal quoted the inquiry as saying. 

‘The aircraft touched the runway surface on its engines.’

After the aborted landing in which the plane’s engines scraped along the runway, the A320’s engines failed ‘one by one’. 

The investigators did find that the plane’s landing gear was put to the extended position when it crashed.

The plane crashed after both engines failed during Captain Sajjad Gull, Pakistan Airline's most-senior pilot, and his co-pilot's efforts to fly around for a second attempt

The plane crashed after both engines failed during Captain Sajjad Gull, Pakistan Airline’s most-senior pilot, and his co-pilot’s efforts to fly around for a second attempt 

There were just two survivors from onboard the aircraft – Zafar Masud, President of the Bank of Punjab, and engineer Mohammad Zubair.

No fatalities were reported on the ground in the densely packed neighbourhood of multi-story homes abutting the eastern edge of Jinnah International Airport where the plane came down.

More than two dozen homes were damaged as the airliner roared in, leaving a tangle of severed electric cables and exposed rebar – a broken wing rested against the side of a home, an engine on the ground nearby.

The jet fuel set the wreckage ablaze, along with homes and vehicles, sending black smoke into the sky, a Reuters witness said.

Crowds rushed to the site, relatives searching for loved ones, rescue workers and the curious. Scores of ambulances and fire-engines jammed the narrow, debris-cluttered streets.

One rescue worker told Reuters two bodies were found with oxygen masks on. Many bodies pulled from the wreckage were charred beyond recognition.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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