PIA pilot lost control of the engine and made a ‘distress call’ before the plane crashed into the mountain

The pilot of the ill-fated Pakistan International Airlines plane that crashed into a mountain on Wednesday, killing everyone on board, reportedly lost control of one of the engines, the airline said.

Azam Sehgal, president of PIA, told reporters that the pilot of flight PK661 told the control tower at 4:09 p.m. local time that an engine had developed a technical defect and moments later made a ” distress call “shortly before the plane went missing,” Dawn reported. .

“We were convinced that the plane could land with only one engine running,” he said, adding: “I think there was no technical or human error… there will obviously be an appropriate investigation. “

The small twin-propeller plane was en route from Chitral to the capital when it crashed near the town of Havelian, about 45 miles northwest of Islamabad. The airline said there were 48 people on the plane – 42 passengers, five crew members and a ground engineer.

The emergency was declared at the airport shortly after receiving the phone call.

The appeal regarding the plane crash was made by a resident of Batolni village who witnessed the tragedy, the official said.

He called Benazir Bhutto International Airport around 4:35 p.m. and was asked to contact the airport manager as he was the person concerned, he said.

Aviation Division secretary Irfan Elahi told Dawn that an investigative team, led by Air Commodore Munir Ahmed, had been formed to find out why the ATR-42 had crashed. crushed. “At the moment, there is no other reason for the plane crash than the failure of the left engine,” he said, adding that investigators will also be looking for flight data recorders from the plane.

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