On 22 May 2020 at 13:05 hrs PST, the Pakistan International Airlines airplane Airbus A320-214, enlistment number AP-BLD, took off from Lahore (Allama Iqbal International Air terminal – AIIAP) Pakistan to play out a normal business traveler flight (PK8303) to Karachi (Jinnah International Airport – JIAP) Pakistan, with 8 team individuals (01 Captain, 01 First Officer, and 06 airline stewards) and 91 travelers ready. At 14:35 hrs the airplane carried out an ILS approach for runway 25L and contacted down without landing gears, resting on the motors. The two motors cleaned the runway at fast. Flight crew started a go-around and reported "Karachi Approach" that they plan to make a subsequent methodology.
This safety investigation by AAIB is conducted in accordance with Annex-13 to the ICAO Convention, and CARs 1994. The sole objective of this safety investigation is the prevention of accidents and incidents of similar nature. It is not the purpose of this safety investigation to apportion blame or liability. Accordingly, it is inappropriate to use AAIB investigation report (or any preliminary / interim report / statement by AAIB) to assign fault or blame or determine liability, since neither the investigation nor the reporting process has been undertaken for that purpose. ( source caa pakistan )
Aircrew records related to their medical fitness and licensing etc were taken into immediate custody from relevant directorates of CAA. Similarly their training records and personal documents were collected from PIA. All these documents are in the custody of AAIB. Additionally, information about crew scheduling / rest periods during last one month and during last 72 hours was collected from PIA.
Various aircraft components were identified and removed from the crash site. Few of
the components were considered as vital for the analysis and were preserved. Flight Data
Recorder (FDR), Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning
System (EGPWS) computer, Quick Access Recorder (QAR) computer, Flight Controls Data
Concentrator (FCDC) computer, Air Data Inertial Reference Unit (ADIRU) computer were
collected from the wreckage and were earmarked for advanced analysis, at BEA. Figures
hereunder show wreckage at the crash site: -
Preliminary Find Outs :
a. The reported weather at origin, en-route and at destination airfields was fit to
undertake the flight.
b. On 22 May 2020 PIA flight PK8303 took off from AIIAP Lahore at 13:05 hrs (as
per the Lahore ATC recording / transcript). Departure from Lahore and cruising flight
were uneventful. The crew did not follow standard callouts and did not observe CRM
aspects during most parts of flight.
c. “Area Control Karachi East” cleared PK8303 for “Nawabshah 2A” arrival
procedure (STAR - Standard Terminal Arrival Route as published in AIP and
JEPPESEN), and advised to expect ILS approach for runway 25L. The flight was later
cleared at pilot’s discretion to report direct MAKLI (a waypoint 15 nautical miles at a
radial of 075 from Karachi VOR) and descend to FL100, and later re-cleared for FL50.
Aircraft Accident Investigation Board : Pakistan
Preliminary Report : Crash of PIA AP-BLD 22 May 2020 Page 11 of 14
The aircraft changed over to “Karachi Approach” and was cleared to descend down
further to 3000 ft, by the time it reaches MAKLI.
d. The aircraft ended up higher than the required descend profile. At MAKLI the
aircraft was at 9780 ft and at about 245 knots IAS. In order to manage the descent
and lose the additional height, “OPEN DES” mode was selected via the FCU, both
autopilots were disengaged and speed brakes were extended.
e. “Karachi Approach” inquired “confirm track mile comfortable for descend” and
later advised to take an orbit, so that the aircraft can be adjusted on the required
descend profile. No orbit was executed and the effort to intercept the glide slope and
localizer (of ILS) was continued. The FDR indicated action of lowering of the landing
gears at 7221 ft at around 10.5 Nautical Miles from Runway 25L.
f. “Karachi Approach” advised repeatedly (twice to discontinue the approach and once cautioned) about excessive height. Landing approach was not discontinued. However, FDR shows action of raising of the landing gears at 1740 ft followed by retraction of the speed brakes (at a distance slightly less than 05 nautical miles from the runway 25L). At this time, the aircraft had intercepted the localizer as well as the glide slope. Flaps 1 were selected at 243 knots IAS, the landing gears and speed brakes were retracted. Over-speed and EGPWS warnings were then triggered.
g. Figure hereunder depicts a few parameters of FDR data and the first approach
profile of the aircraft in comparison with the required approach profile.
Note : For the descent path, the altitude has been shifted to start from 84 ft in order to
match the altitude of the runway at ground impact.
(h) Since the approach to land was continued, “Karachi Approach” instead of
changing over the aircraft to “Aerodrome Control”, sought telephonic landing
clearance from the “Aerodrome Control”. The “Aerodrome Control” conveyed a landing
clearance of the aircraft (without observing the abnormality that the landing gears
were not extended) to “Karachi Approach”. Subsequently “Karachi Approach” cleared
the aircraft to land.
i. At 500 ft, the FDR indicates: landing gear retracted, slat/flap configuration 3,
airspeed 220 knots IAS, descent rate 2000 ft/min. According to the FDR and CVR
recordings several warnings and alerts such as over-speed, landing gear not down
and ground proximity alerts were disregarded. The landing was undertaken with
landing gears retracted. The aircraft touched the runway surface on its engines. Flight
crew applied reverse engine power and initiated a braking action. Both engines
scrubbed the runway at various locations causing damage to both of them. Figures
hereunder show selected screenshots of security / CCTV cameras footages of the
aircraft engines touching the runway and showing sparks due to scrubbing, along with
marks on the runway.
j. The “Aerodrome Control” observed the scrubbing of engines with the runway but did not covey this abnormality to the aircraft. It was conveyed to the “Karachi Approach” on telephone. Subsequently “Karachi Approach” also did not relay this abnormality to the aircraft.
k. The landing was discontinued and a go-around was executed. FDR recording indicates a brief action of selection of landing gear lever to down position, which was immediately followed by its movement to up position. Intention to undertake another ILS approach for landing on runway 25L was conveyed, however shortly after the go-around both engines failed one by one. Ram Air Turbine (RAT) was deployed to power the essential systems. FDR data recording stopped during this timeframe (as per the designed limitation). The aircraft was unable to maintain required height. The aircrew declared the emergency situation that both engines were lost, and transmitted a “Mayday Call”. Evidences from the wreckage indicate reasons for right engine failure, however left engine requires further examination, and landing gear in extended position did not demonstrate any malfunction of the landing gear system.
l. The aircraft crashed about 1340 meters short from runway 25L. It was a slow speed impact with high angle of attack, with aircraft configuration indicating landing gears extended, slats at step / position 1, and flaps retracted. The said configuration was ascertained and documented from the wreckage at the crash site (as the FDR data recording had stopped earlier).
m. The aircraft was reportedly serviceable for the said flight; necessary scrutiny of the aircraft maintenance records / documents is under way. Captain and First Officer were adequately qualified and experienced to undertake the said flight; necessary scrutiny of the aircrew records / documents is under way.
This report provides facts which have been determined up to the time of
publication. It includes brief overview of the investigation process (tasks accomplished so
far), summary of a few of the important findings, and an overview of the remaining
investigation process. It will be followed by advanced analysis into the root causes and a
draft final report shall be compiled, which would be further disseminated to the ACCREPs in
accordance with the relevant provisions of the ICAO Annex 13. After the comments by the
ACCREPs the Final Report shall be submitted to the Aviation Division, for approval and
dissemination. ( source caapakistan )