PK8303 blackbox found, death toll at 97 with 2 survivors

The death toll from the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane that crashed in a residential area in Karachi last May 23 has risen to 97, officials say.
The crash site of PK8303. Getty Images

At the same time, the flight data recorder of the ill-fated aircraft was found.

In a report from Reuters, two people onboard the aircraft survived and there were no fatalities in the ground where the aircraft crashed.

The PIA Airbus A320 with flight number PK8303, was flying from Lahore to Karachi with 99 people on board when it went down in mid-afternoon while trying a second landing attempt.

According to PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan, "The black box had been found late yesterday, we are handing it over to the inquiry board."

Communications between the pilots and air-traffic controllers reveal that the crew tried to execute a go-around while conducting an ILS approach to runway 25L, according to a report from FlightGlobal. The crew later on infomed air traffic control that they "had lost both engine" after being unable to hold the required altitude prior to landing.

The airline also said that the crew reported a "technical fault" before losing contact with the ground shortly.

“Details of what the actual technical fault was can only be established once [an] inquiry is started and critical aircraft parts and evidence from the site is recovered and analysed,” it says.

PIA also states that preliminary information points to an “uneventful flight” up to the final approach, during which the crew contacted controllers and provided an “arrival report with everything normal”.

The aircraft involved in the crash, AP-BLD. Photo: Wikimedia

The 15-year old A320 aircraft involved was first in service with China Eastern Airlines in 2004 up to 2014. It was then leased by PIA from GECAS on October 2014. It is powered by CFM56-5B4 turbofan engines. 

PIA engineering department reported that the last thorough maintenance check on the plane was conducted on 21 March, during which no defects were found in its engines, landing gear or avionics. The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority declared the aircraft "fit to fly" until November 5, 2020. According to Airbus, the aircraft has logged close to 47,100 flying hours.

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