CAA spokesman while talking to a news channel via phone said:
* The aircraft took-off from Karachi Airport at 1:48AM (November 28).
* The aircraft caught fire but the its crew did not have enough time to inform airport about the problem.
* The aircraft crashed within minute after take-off from Karachi.
* Black box not found so far. The aircraft section with black box is believed to be buried under debris of collapsed building structure.
A team of Georgian company Sun Way representatives is also arriving in Pakistan.
An informative news report in November 29 edition of English daily 'DAWN'.
Another air crash throws into question CAA performance
KARACHI, Nov 28:
The crash that occurred in the early hours of Sunday was so close to the airport that air traffic controllers actually saw the Russian-made cargo plane (IL-76) burst into flame and fi nally go down in a fireball in a nearby residential area, an official of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) told Dawn.
The gap between the takeoff and the crash was so brief that the aircraft had not yet been handed over to the radar control and was still within the range of the ATC, they said.
However, they added, the pilot made no contact with the air traffic controllers regarding an emergency situation or fire etc.
This is the second aircraft that has crashed within minutes after take-off from Karachi airport within a month.
On Nov 5, a small chartered aircraft of the JS Air crashed in a military facility minutes after take-off, killing all 21 people on board.
Both the crash sites are almost in the same direction from the airport, and one of the thoroughfares of the city — Rashid Minhas Road — runs between the two sites, which are hardly a kilometre or so away from each other.
Prior to these two tragedies, a commercial flight of Airblue had crashed in the Margalla Hills in Islamabad a few months back just before landing in bad weather, killing all passengers and crew members.
A spokesman for the CAA told Dawn that the Ilyushin 76 freighter plane was owned by a Georgian company — Sun Way Airlines — and it arrived here from Fujaira in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday afternoon (3pm).
He said that after staying here for around 10 hours, during which it refuelled and relief cargo was loaded onto it, it took off at 1.48am on Sunday.
He said that the air traffic controllers saw the plane burst into flame and crash in a fireball in the naval residential colony in Dalmia around three kilometres from the airport across Rashid Minhas Road.
He said that a team to probe the plane crash had been constituted and it would be headed by the chief investigator of the CAA, Air Commodore Khawaja Abdul Majeed.
He said that the Shaheen Air Port Services (SAPS) was the local handlers for the flight at the airport while the plane had been chartered by the Executive Air.
A representative of the SAPS said that the cargo comprising relief goods tents, etc, were loaded onto the plane in the city and the aircraft had also been refuelled.
He, however, was not sure if the aircraft had also brought any cargo to the city or any cargo had been taken off during the plane’s stay here.
He said that the cargo had been booked by, and belonged to, the Vision Air and they could tell who was sending the cargo or who would have received it in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.
However, it is unclear as to why tents were being sent to Sudan from here despite the fact that Pakistan is reeling from the worst-ever natural disaster and a number of flood-affected people are still without shelter.
Besides, no calamity or disaster in Sudan that requires international help has so far been reported in the media.
Flight Operations Officer Javed of the Executive Air said he had no information about the cargo and the plane. He referred to another senior official, Arooj Mirza, who did not respond to calls made by this reporter on his cellphone.
Responding to Dawn queries, Mr Sirjad of the Vision Air said his company was not in any way related with the aircraft that crashed or the cargo that it was carrying.
In reply to another question as to why his company’s name was being mentioned by other companies, he said that this aircraft was to come here last week, probably on Nov 24, but the flight was cancelled and it did not arrive. His company had handled the ground arrangements of the aircraft last time (when it did not come), so probably people felt that this time also his company was involved.
While Pakistan has a large fleet of cargo planes, with Karachi being one of its biggest hubs, it is not immediately known as to why someone was bringing in the aircraft from the UAE to Karachi to airlift the cargo to Khartoum, which would be relatively expensive.
Meanwhile, General Secretary of the Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (Palpa) Capt T.M. Rabbani said that IL-76 aircraft did not enjoy a good record globally as far as safety was concerned.
He said that three accidents in around four months — and two within a month — put a question mark over the performance of the aviation regulator whose job it was to ensure safety of the air passengers as well as the people living on the ground.
CAA sources said that according to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), every aviation regulator must follow the Foreign Aircraft Operations Surveillance Programme and must have its certified inspectors to carry out inspections.
The CAA has just one certified inspector, Tariq Khoso, who had undergone the prescribed inspection training in Bangkok in addition to some advance trainings, they added. After his return he had also grounded a few aircraft which did not meet the required criteria. The sources said that Mr Khoso was not being made to do his job.
The sources said that there are eight posts of inspectors in the CAA’s Flight Standards Department. Three inspectors had been made non-operational while four posts were lying vacant, they added.Source: DAWN
Cargo plane crash toll rises to 11
By S. Raza Hassan
KARACHI, Nov 28:
The death toll in this month’s second air crash in Karachi rose to 11 after three bodies were retrieved from the debris at the site on Sunday.
The Russian-built IL-76 medium-range cargo aircraft carrying relief goods destined for Sudan crashed minutes after take-off from the Jinnah International Airport at around 1.48am.
About three weeks earlier, 21 people, mostly employees of an oil company, died when a small chartered aircraft crashed on Nov 5 on the premises of the Central Ordnance Depot minutes after take-off.
The cargo plane which crashed on Sunday had cleared the COD, Rashid Minhas Road, Gulshan-i-Jamal and Majeed Sailors’ Residential Estate before plunging into the Naval Housing Scheme at an under-construction site between three-floor populated blocks.
A number of residents of Gulistan-iJauhar and Gulshan-i-Jamal saw a large fireball in the air which soon hit the ground with a loud bang.
As the plane carried fuel for an eighthour flight to Khartoum, the crash caused a huge blaze which fire-tenders of the navy and city government took about two hours to douse.
Eight members of the plane’s Russian crew and three labourers on the ground were killed. Another labourer, Mohammad Rais, was admitted to the Civil Hospital with over 50 per cent burns.
The workers who died have been identified as Khuda Buksh, 28, Ajaz Husain, 27, and Shahid, 21, of Multan.
They had arrived at the construction site a day earlier, police said.
Hundreds of people managed to slip into the crash site when gates of the colony were opened for ambulances. They obstructed rescue and relief efforts.
The nearby Dalmia Road was also clogged by hundreds of people who wanted to catch a glimpse of the area.
Some personnel working at the site complained that some people had taken away pieces of the plane. “Perhaps the incident took place so suddenly that the pilot didn’t get a chance to inform the Control Tower and no communication between them took place,” a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said.
The freighter owned by the Georgian Sunway Airlines had landed at the airport at around 3pm on Saturday, having arrived from Fujaira in the UAE.Source: DAWN