Pakistan plane crash: Last conversation between pilot and ATC moments before mishap

ST Staff
Saturday, 23 May 2020

The pilot of the Pakistan International Airline that crashed in Karachi on Friday indicated that he was facing problems with the plane's engines just before the crash. Here is the last conversation between the pilot and ATC

The death toll in the Pakistan plane crash in Karachi on Friday has crossed the mark of 90, with two travellers magically surviving the horrific crash. Over 11 people on the ground were injured

The Pakistan International Airlines PK-8303, flying from Lahore with 99 passengers crashed into a populated residential area near the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi.




On Friday, a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) carrier with 99 onboard crashed into a densely populated residential area near the Karachi airport. At least 97 people were killed in the deadly crash, which comes nearly a week after the Imran Khan-led PTI government lifted the air travel restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic. A CCTV footage went viral on social media. Also, a chilling audio conversation between the air traffic control and the pilot was published, where the latter was heard saying that the plane had lost engines. An air traffic controller asked if he was going to carry out a 'belly landing' and the pilot replied, 'mayday, mayday, mayday'. Mayday is an international radio distress signal used by aircraft and ships. #sakaltimes #sakal #sakalnews #news #viral #viralvideo #cctv #pakistan #karachi #planecrash #pakistanplanecrash #tragedy

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The flight was travelling to Karachi after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) permitted limited recommencement of domestic flights amid the lockdown imposed due to the novel coronavirus. The plane was about to land but just before that the pilot stated he was going for a go-around. While trying for a second landing, it created some glitches and crashed.

According to a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) official, the captain informed the Air Traffic Control (ATC) that he was having some problems with the landing gear before the plane went missing from the radar.

“We have lost an engine. Mayday, Mayday, Mayday,” the pilot of the PIA is heard telling the traffic controllers who told asked to land on any of the two runways that had been kept open for him moments before the crash took place.  The conversation goes like this:

Pilot: PK 8303 to approach

ATC: Ji Sir

Pilot: We are to be turning left?

ATC: Confirmed

Pilot: We are proceeding direct; we have lost both the engines!

ATC: Confirm you are carrying out a belly landing?

Pilot: (Unclear)

ATC: Runway available to land on 2 5

Pilot: Roger

Pilot: Sir, Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Pakistan 830…3

ATC: Pakistan 8303, Roger Sir. Both runways are available to land.

The audio cuts off here.

Here is the entire audio clip:

Smoke wafted at the scene where the plane came down on the roofs of some houses and debris lay dispersed on roads as ambulances hurried through chaotic crowds.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences over the loss of lives in the plane crash and wished a recovery to those who have been injured.

PM Modi in his tweet said, “Deeply saddened by the loss of life due to a plane crash in Pakistan. Our condolences to the families of the deceased, and wishing a speedy recovery to those injured.”


The Pakistan Airline which crashed has only two survivors, one of whom is Bank of Punjab top executive Zafar Masud. His roots are in western Uttar Pradesh's Amroha and he belongs to the family of Kamal Amrohi of ‘Pakeezah’ fame.

Masud, who was onboard the flight that crashed near the Karachi airport leaving 97 dead, escaped with injuries on his hip and collar bone.

(With inputs from IANS)

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