PIA crash: who will administer justice?

IN time, most of us will forget the PIA plane crash. However, we as a nation must raise our voices collectively against the callous disregard for human life. How often we have heard statements like the prime minister ordering an inquiry, the CM taking notice, the interior minister pledging to deal with an iron hand. Those held responsible to get harsh punishments and so on and so forth. All that comes of these pronouncements is a big zero.

I am a retired pilot with 44 years in the cockpit and can assure you that the safest mode of travel today is by air, because modern aircraft are extremely safe. Every system has a back-up, the pilots are trained well and commercial aviation is about the most regulated industry in the world. However, when airlines are mismanaged and the regulatory body ceases to discharge its function, then accidents occur.

The latest crash is because of such failures, and the inquiry, even if it puts together the eventual cause of the crash, will be a cover-up shielding those responsible.

Modern aircraft engines do not fail unexpectedly, but failure is built up only if signs of wear and tear are neglected. In most government endeavours work is accomplished on paper only. In the case of PIA, maintenance and most of the repairs are on paper only relying on the dependability of aircraft systems to compensate.

Had we a system of justice that was independent of government largesse one could go to court and seek an end to such callousness and corruption. — Javed Khan Tareen, Islamabad. Published in Dawn 11 Dec 2016

2 COMMENTS

  1. Any person is naive if we think justice will be served in that country. A country in which nepotism and bribery takes precedence to merit or justice. At most, the victims’ families will get some compensation. If 14 people can be killed in broad daylight in model town Lahore and despite so much pressure from major political parties, not get justice, what makes you think some folks from the mountains will get justice for their lives. I’m no expert in pre-flight procedures, but I’d say that they’ll probably prepare some fake report saying that the engines were in perfect working condition before the flight and save the behinds of the careless authorities. Now that’s given that there was carelessness. I’m sure you can tell as you have been in the aviation field for almost half a decade. Besides, Chitralis do not have the political power or will power to seek justice for their people. Let’s be honest, no one in Pakistan sees Chitralis as more than some quiet people from the north. Chitralis are the textbook definition of what we say in khowar “mayzup roi”. This can only change if Chitralis rise the government and bureaucratic ranks and hold influential positions. Even then, they would have to be sincere towards their people and not be corrupt to actually do something about such incidents.

  2. I fully agree with the expert opinion of Mr. Javed Khan Tareen. I have already described a similar event of engine failure of Folker aircraft on a news report last week. It was happened at Chitral airport in 1964. At that time, the re-construction work of Chitral airport was underway. After matric examination, I was conducting as Labour Supervisor under the contractor, the late Prince Burhan-ud-Din. The labour was engaged staking stones from the river side through their donkeys. When the aircraft was ready for taking off, we stopped working for a short while to have the enjoyment of exciting scene. About half a dozen donkeys were also standing nearby to rest and eat grasy field. The aircraft took off but was imbalanced and turned to left The left wing of the plane hit the earth covered top hill of Danin village. It is presumed that the pilot did not take a risk to fly and decided for landing back. He turned to the right towards the runway but it was missed and again the right wing slightly touched the right side hill. We were stunned to see such a dangerous scene. However, we must appreciate the intelligence, vigilence and bravery of the crew. The pilot attempted 3rd time and succeeded to reach the runway. Then the fans of both the engines were screwed off. The right engine fan went to right side fields whereas the left came to the river side where we were standing. The fan hit a donkey by cutting off the neck. There was no fire and the passengers miracaly came out of the plane safely. After about 2 hours, another Folker aircarft landed carrying the technical experts/Engineers for investigation. The 2nd aircraft picked up the passengers for Peshawar.
    It was the time when we were proud of our national airlines and we rightly claimed ‘BA KAMAL LOG LAJAWAB PARWAZ”. But unfortunately, today, the politicians have destroyed the airline and PIA is facing billions of losses.
    CONCLUSION:
    It is concluded that there may be two major reasons as under:- (1) The pilot (May Almighty Allah rest his departed soul in eternal peace) was not well trained of the technicalities of ATR aircraft. (2) The pilot may have pointed out the faults and requisition of parts was also launched but the concerned authorities declined to purchase the parts on the pretext of lacking funds.

LEAVE A REPLY