Pak air crash: Cockpit voice recorder yet to be found

Pakistan air crash: Cockpit voice recorder of crashed airplane yet to be recovered

ecurity personnel stand beside the wreckage of a plane at the site after a Pakistan International Airlines aircraft crashed in a residential area days before, in Karachi. (AFP Photo)

The cockpit voice recorder of the crashed Pakistani airplane is yet to be recovered, six days after the aircraft plunged into a residential area near the Jinnah International Airport, killing 97 people on board, according to media reports on Wednesday.

The Airbus A320 aircraft of the national carrier Pakistan International Airlines had 91 passengers and a crew of eight when it crashed into the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir on Friday, minutes before its landing. Eleven people on the ground were injured.

Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that the efforts were underway to recover the cockpit voice recorder.

“The black box of the plane had been recovered and handed over to the probe team to initiate speedy investigation, while efforts are under way to recover the cockpit voice recorder which will also be handed over to the investigation team,” the minister was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.

Khan, in a press statement, said that soon after the plane crash, the departments concerned were directed to recover the bodies with the help of residents of the area within 24 hours and this difficult task was completed within time, the report said.

PIA Spokesman Abdullah Hafeez Khan was quoted as saying in the Geo News that the recorder might have fallen into one of the houses in the Model Colony area.

He advised the residents against keeping anything of the aircraft at their homes as a memorial and requested them to hand it over to the authorities if they found it in their houses.

“Voice recorder is important for the plane crash inquiry,” Khan said.

An 11-member team of the technical experts from an Airbus facility in the French city of Toulouse, which arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday to conduct an independent probe into the crash, along with a local investigative group, will focus on finding the cockpit recording on Wednesday, the Geo News report said.

A flight safety team of PIA will also accompany the Airbus team at the site of the crash, it said.

The report, quoting sources, said that drone cameras will be used during the investigation at the site and the team will use forensics to probe the crash.

According to the PIA's engineering and maintenance department, the last check of the plane was done on March 21 this year and it had flown from Muscat to Lahore a day before the crash.

The aircraft was handed over to the PIA in 2014 and had completed 47,100 flight hours and 25,860 flight cycles until it's crash on Friday.

Meanwhile, the father of the airplane's deceased pilot has demanded a fair probe into the incident, saying that his son was a "thorough professional."

“His competence cannot be questioned as even when he was facing death he remained calm and told the control tower that one of the engines was troubling and landing gear was not working,” Gul Muhammad Bhatti, the pilot's father, was quoted as saying by the Dawn. 

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