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A PIA A320 aircraft (Photo: Aasif Azaan / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0))

Pakistan International Air Flight 8303 Crashes After Aborted Approach

A Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 has crashed near Karachi Airport, Pakistan, while operating a domestic service as flight 8303 from Lahore. So far the airline has reported that there were 91 passengers and seven crew members onboard the aircraft that went down in a residential area to the southeast of the airport.

Rescue efforts have so far recovered 97 bodies from the crash site, miraculously two passengers survived the crash. The aircraft registered as AP-BLD was 15-years-old joined the airline in 2014 after being flown by China Eastern Airlines.

A statement released by the airline following the crash said: “We deeply regret to announce that a PIA flight PK 8303 from Lahore to Karachi crashed near Karachi Airport. No further details of the accident are available at the moment. 91 passengers and seven crew members were on board.”

According to AVHerald, the crew of PK 8303 had aborted the approach following technical problems with the extension of the nose landing gear. While repositioning for another approach the crew declared a MAYDAY before losing height and impacting the residential area of Model Colony.

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Images captured by local photographer group, Pakistan’s Planespotters, appear to show both engine cowlings of the A320 having scratch marks implying contact with the ground. Also, the aircraft is pictured with its Ram Air Turbine (RAT) deployed with white smoke trailing from each engine. The RAT is a small turbine that can be manually or automatically deployed as a last resort electric source for the aircraft’s main electrical supply. It is automatically deployed should the main electrical bus bars fail to gain power from either both engine generators, which only have power if the engines are turned on, or from the Auxillary Power Unit (APU), which is normally used during ground operations or as part of a coordinated response to an emergency situation.

The CEO of Pakistan International Airlines has traveled to the crash site and the airline has set up an Emergency Response Center at Karachi, as per international aviation regulations.

This story is ongoing. 

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