Tuesday, June 2, 2009

PIA’s crash course in how not to land a plane

PIA's crash course in how not to land a plane

Probe into incident ordered, says spokesman

Monday June 01, 2009 (1112 PST)

LAHORE: The passengers of the 48-seater PIA turbo prop aircraft (ATR 42-500) got a scare of their lives when their plane instead of landing gently at the Lahore airport, as is the norm, skid off the runway, raced another 2,000 feet or so while rubbing its nose in dirt, slid across a two feet deep drainage ditch, and finally came to a shockingly abrupt stop on the left edge of the parallel runaway 36L. Fortunately, no passenger or crew member received any injury except the pilots reportedly suffering from bruised egos. Welcome to the exciting landing of PK-688 flight from Multan to Lahore at around 7.30pm Saturday evening, whose details the PIA authorities very conveniently forgot to share with the general public and the media.

Upon contact, the PIA spokesman Sultan Hassan sounded elated about the fact that nobody had been hurt but did not have a cogent response when asked why PIA had not volunteered the details of the incident to the general public and the media, as would be expected of any responsible professional corporation. He said however that an official inquiry had been ordered into the incident to determine the cause of the accident and whether it was due to equipment failure or human error.

According to reliable sources, it appears a case of equipment failure. The aircraft bearing registration No AP-BHOe was being flown by Capt Torab and First Officer Asim Aziz. According to initial reports, the aircraft's nose, left gear, and the fuselage have been heavily damaged. While the PIA authorities may be feeling a little hot behind the collar, the landing however was described in two words by one truly happy teenaged traveller who talking to our sources described it as "really cool". If earlier the PIA advertising mantra was 'great people to fly with', the undisclosed Saturday landing proved that they are 'even greater to land with'.



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