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History of PIA - Pakistan International Airlines

Photo Gallery of PIA's Finest Men and Women

Capt. Moinuddin Quraishi

Capt. Moinuddin Quraishi  (Copyright © Aizaz Moin)

This beautiful and rare photo from late 1950s shows Capt. Moinuddin Quraishi at the controls of a PIA Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation. In 1952, Capt. Moinuddin was sent to Holland to learn to fly the L-1049 Super Constellation with KLM who were flying the same aircraft at the time. Capt. Moinuddin became one of the first Pakistani pilots to fly PIA's Super Constellations when the newly born Pakistani national airline received three brand new Super Constellations as its initial equipment to start operations in 1954.

In 1952, when he had just obtained command of Douglas DC-3 Dakota, Capt. Moinuddin was taking off with a full load of passengers in a DC-3 of Orient Airways from Chittagong, East Pakistan. A vulture that was descending or perhaps diving towards his prey, collided with the plane through the left windscreen. The bird hit the plane with such force that the windscreen smashed into Capt. Moinuddin’s face. He was wearing a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses which were torn off his face and hence he carried a scar on his left cheek for the rest of his life including shreds of glass scars on his forehead. Capt. Moinuddin concerned for the safety of his passengers and due to the inability of his co-pilot who was paralysed with fear, landed the plane by himself. When he parked and then walked back through the plane cabin, his uniform drenched with his own blood, he was greeted by his passengers as a hero


Capt. Moinuddin Quraishi

Capt. Moinuddin Quraishi  (Copyright © Aizaz Moin)

Capt. Moinuddin Quraishi ascends steps to board PIA's youngest Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellation (registration AP-AJZ) at Beirut Airport, Lebanon. The PIA Super Constellation in this photo is ready to fly under the command of Capt. Moinuddin Quraishi with Lebanese VIPs onboard. In 1960, Capt. Moinuddin was sent to New York to learn to fly the Boeing 707 and later that year he ferried PIA's very first jetliner (a Boeing 707-321, registration N723PA, leased from Pan American World Airways) from New York to London, from where Capt. Anwer Masud Khan, another legend of the airline and Capt. Moinuddin's dearest friend, flew the plane on to Karachi on it's maiden flight. While on a flight from London to Karachi, in April 1961, Capt. Moinuddin was struck down by a heart attack. He was later grounded and held various desk jobs in the airline for the next 6 years at the end of which he suffered another heart attack and died in Karachi at his office at the age of 43 years


Stewardess Fariza Mirza and Chief Flight Engineer Hassan Mirza

Stewardess Fariza Mirza and Chief Flight Engineer Hassan Mirza  (Copyright © Jay Mirza)

Jay Mirza's parents Stewardess Fariza Mirza and Flight Engineer Hassan Mirza are seen in this photo from 1960. Fariza Mirza served PIA from 1958 to 1961 as a Stewardess and won the Miss World Stewardess Competition in 1960 representing PIA. This photo shows Fariza holding the trophy as Miss World Airways 1960. Flight Engineer Hassan Mirza served as Chief Flight Engineer from 1954 to 1980. He was a founding member of Flight Engineers National Association (FENA) and flew on PIA's Super Constellations, Boeing 707s, Boeing 720Bs, DC-10s and Boeing 747s


Capt. M. M. Salehjee

Capt. M. M. Salehjee  (Copyright © Farouk Salehjee)

This photo was taken at Rawalpindi Airport, Pakistan, in early 1960s. The photo shows Capt. M. M. Salehjee (with brief case) accompanied by pilots and officials of PIA. Seen in this photo are Capt. Mushtaq Sherif (second from left), PIA's Area Manager for East Pakistan Mr. Mahmood Mirza (third from left-wearing white short sleeves shirt), Chief Pilot North Capt. Baqir (fourth from left) and Capt. Arshad Mir (second from right). The first person on the right side of photo is Mr. Sheikh Amjeed Majid who was PIA Assistant Station Manager at Pindi base. Mr. Majid joined PIA from its inception and was also posted to Kabul as Manager. Capt. M. M. Salehjee was Sector Chief Pilot-Eastern division for PIA in Dacca. He also used to fly twice weekly Dacca-Canton-Dacca flight for 3 years to keep up his hours on Boeing 720B jet and sometimes Dacca-Karachi-Dacca sector Boeing 720B flight. Capt. M. M. Salehjee had various assignments including Chief Pilot Boeing 747, Route Check Pilot, Chief Pilot Technical & Chief of Flight Standards (last position before a heart attack & after that he took retirement). Also seen in this photo is First Officer A. A. Baakza standing between Capt. Arshad Mir and Capt. M. M. Salehjee. Years later, First Officer A. A. Baakza became one of PIA's youngest Boeing 747 Captains. In photo's background we can see a PIA Fokker F27




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