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PIA A320 Crash Karachi

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PIA A320 Crash Karachi

Old 23rd May 2020, 07:24
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The explosion on impact, the fireball is indicating there was plenty of fuel
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Old 23rd May 2020, 07:55
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Running out of fuel and forgetting to put the gear down don't seem the most obvious scenarios. An unstable approach resulting in a botched go-around, with the classic failure to push the thrust levers all the way to TOGA, and the gear selected up too early sounds at least possible, a bit like the Emirates crash in Dubai although with obvious differences. Rusty pilots and planes standing around for long periods may have contributed. In my airbus experience the aircraft does not respond well to long periods of low utilisation, and the electronics do odd things that Boeings tend not to. If the aircraft did make contact with the runway there must be witnesses, not least the survivors, so we will find out pretty soon if this scenario applies, and latest when they read out the flight recorders.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 07:58
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Gear-up landing

Survivor reports about the first landing being a gear-up landing with severe sparks and jolts, before the aircraft took off again.

https://propakistani.pk/2020/05/22/b...es-in-karachi/

Plane did touch down on the runway for belly landing the first time, but heavy jolts and sparks made the pilots lift again and retry the landing: Survivor

One of the only two lucky survivors of the plane crash, Muhammad Zubair, has revealed that it was during the second attempt at belly landing that the plane lost control and came crashing down.

After the landing gear failed and pilots resorted to belly landing, they were able to touch down the aircraft onto the runway in the first attempt at the risky maneuver.

However, informed Zubair, the jolts and sparks due to the friction were so severe that the pilots lifted the plane again to give the landing a second try.

“All that we were told by the pilots was that we were going to land again,” said Zubair, adding that there was no word from the pilots about the emergency situation or crash landing.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 08:17
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Does not sound like a planned wheels up landing , would passengers notice an approach with gear down and a messed up missed approach which resulted in a double pod strike? Sounds like PA made to say going back for second attempt but engines fail ? Witness (ground) said plane attempted a belly landing but maybe he / she only saw brief touchdown on pods ? All speculation .
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Old 23rd May 2020, 08:22
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.......Confess that I haven't read more than a couple of the initial comments, but that photo of the aircraft in flight stuck a note. Noticed a large bird in the background. I know nothing of any modern Airbus types, but until about thirty years ago I did fly various of other types in and out of Karachi, and well recall these giant ****e-Hawks. Can't claim to have witnessed them in flocks, but would not a freak simultaneous ingestion of ****e-Hawk cause violent engine surges and or flame? Once experienced a brief disturbing surge after low level bird strike on single-engine jet, and once heard a Harrier pilot mention another person's Harrier flame out after ingestion of Seagulls....

Last edited by ONE GREEN AND HOPING; 23rd May 2020 at 08:23. Reason: 'Other Types'
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Old 23rd May 2020, 08:36
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From the photographs of the crash very little fire damage to the buildings & surroundings & what continues to surprise is reports of Nil casualties not he ground & the 2 survivors having little burn injuries. Would that not indicate not substantial fuel on board?
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Old 23rd May 2020, 08:37
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Originally Posted by QDM360

Plane did touch down on the runway for belly landing the first time, but heavy jolts and sparks made the pilots lift again and retry the landing: Survivor

One of the only two lucky survivors of the plane crash, Muhammad Zubair, has revealed that it was during the second attempt at belly landing that the plane lost control and came crashing down.

After the landing gear failed and pilots resorted to belly landing, they were able to touch down the aircraft onto the runway in the first attempt at the risky maneuver.

However, informed Zubair, the jolts and sparks due to the friction were so severe that the pilots lifted the plane again to give the landing a second try.

“All that we were told by the pilots was that we were going to land again,” said Zubair, adding that there was no word from the pilots about the emergency situation or crash landing.
As someone interested in the psychology of eye witness accounts, and how people fail to separate their own interpretation from objective facts, I find those really interesting examples. In this case it is very obvious where the witness has imposed his own vision on what he thinks was in the pilots' heads and so it remains a useful account. Nevertheless an interesting demonstration.

The thing I find surprising about the emerging hypothesis, is that it seems to require equivalent damage with almost identical consequences to two engines/systems following a double pod impact. I wonder if there will be lessons in improved redundancy?
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Old 23rd May 2020, 09:09
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This video nails it pretty well.

3500’ at 5nm (over 2x the normal path), overspeed warning on recording, pod strike in the pictures and ATC mention “a belly up landing”.

Looks like high energy unstable approach, leading to a crash landing bounce, go-around into the circuit. Essentially crashed the jet then tried to fly it.

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Old 23rd May 2020, 09:11
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Landing gear unsafe indication

Speculation: Normal approach, switched to tower, during config Landing Gear Down no green lights. So, requested to hold at 5 mile final(hold PPOS probably). Did troubleshooting, Landing Gear unsafe indication persisted, decided to continue approach(maybe they heard the Landing gear go down). Upon touchdown gear collapsed, so they went around, but damaged the engines, which caused dual engine flame out. Tower didn't seem That surprised because they were informed about the reason for holding, so they ask "confirm this time for belly landing".
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Old 23rd May 2020, 09:13
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They were probably holding at 5 mile final at 3500, and when they decided to continue approach they were probably on the outbound leg. It is hard to believe someone would even attempt to continue an approach at 3500 on a 5 mile final.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 09:17
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Originally Posted by double_barrel
I wonder if there will be lessons in improved redundancy?
The A380 lives!

It is going to be an ocean going can of worms. Looking at the video above, it is a classic high energy approach that I bet the PIA OMs say throw away and go around at 1000’. As a psychologist study, tunnel vision and why they felt the need to rush to get it on the ground. On a normal approach 5nm is at 1500’, fully configured close to approach speed. ATC are clearly worried about their profile but they continue.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 09:17
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Why would the ATC suggest a belly landing when the pilot reported both engines lost? There hadn't been any talk of gear issues. Or am I missing something?
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Old 23rd May 2020, 09:18
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Firstly I muss say that having two survivors and no ground casualties is utterly unbelievable.

Next, the apparent cause of this crash (initial gear up landing, hard bounce and eventual loss of engine) also verges on the incredible.

This whole thing is beyond bizarre!
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Old 23rd May 2020, 09:19
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Originally Posted by maddog2872
Speculation: Normal approach, switched to tower, during config Landing Gear Down no green lights. So, requested to hold at 5 mile final(hold PPOS probably). Did troubleshooting, Landing Gear unsafe indication persisted, decided to continue approach(maybe they heard the Landing gear go down). Upon touchdown gear collapsed, so they went around, but damaged the engines, which caused dual engine flame out. Tower didn't seem That surprised because they were informed about the reason for holding, so they ask "confirm this time for belly landing".
Err, there was no hold they flew straight in....
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Old 23rd May 2020, 09:22
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Is that confirmed? I thought FR24 data is missing, and liveatc archive has static before "we are stabilised" call
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Old 23rd May 2020, 09:26
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They said they were established on the approach at 5nm and 3500’. I last went to KHI a couple of years ago And it was close to MSL then. They were nearly 2000’ above the glide flying a 7.5 degree approach with the speed warnings going off. It’s not looking good.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 09:30
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Highly unstable at 5nm and 3500 ft with over speed alarm going. They decided to Go Around, due to high speed did a TOGA TAP, retracted the gear and like JETSTAR in 2007 https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...-2007-044.aspx

continued descent with Gear selected up on the Glideslope, Jetstar got to 38ft above runway before aircraft climbed away. In the PIA case they impacted the runway before climbing away causing severe engine damage which subsequently caused failure of both. That’s my guess.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 09:38
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Originally Posted by atakacs
Firstly I muss say that having two survivors and no ground casualties is utterly unbelievable.

Next, the apparent cause of this crash (initial gear up landing, hard bounce and eventual loss of engine) also verges on the incredible.

This whole thing is beyond bizarre!
...........and add in the supposed photographs of it with damage under both nacelles, the RAT extended, but the u/c up, so presume after the first landing attempt, but that video of the final crash with the u/c clearly down.....?

It will indeed be astonishing if there does appear to be no ground victims given where it impacted..!!

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Old 23rd May 2020, 09:40
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion
Highly unstable at 5nm and 3500 ft with over speed alarm going. They decided to Go Around, due to high speed did a TOGA TAP, retracted the gear and like JETSTAR in 2007 https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...-2007-044.aspx

continued descent with Gear selected up on the Glideslope, Jetstar got to 38ft above runway before aircraft climbed away. In the PIA case they impacted the runway before climbing away causing severe engine damage which subsequently caused failure of both. That’s my guess.
Think about the energy involved. At 3500’, at more than twice the glide slope angle, the aircraft literally cannot slow down whilst pointing at the TDZ.

It was already above VMax for the configuration based on the warnings. If it went round at that speed even with the engines turned off you could zoom to 5-600’. You are making the assumption it was a normal go around, the startle in the PM’s voice indicates nothing was ever normal from the start of the approach.

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Old 23rd May 2020, 09:41
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Very sad situation.

I have a fair bit of time in various Airbus including the A320... it would be absolutely impossible to fly an approach and unintentionally land gear up. Only scenario I can come up with for the pod strikes is a bounce landing, get extremely slow call for a regular go around despite being in a low energy state have PM raise the gear. Unlike the Boeing there isn’t really any trap with TOGA on a A320. You push it until the stop. So now buddy raises the gear, but you’re slow and power was at idle, so takes some time to spool up and you run out of energy and bang! Thankfully the EK accident they stayed on the runway... here they took it into the air again... that’s the only plausible explanation for this I have.

Also a very steep and fast approach may have been why we had a bounce on the first attempt. Don’t know much about PIA but I think most CPs would want to have tea no biscuits if you tried to land after an approach like that, if the altitude and distance you guys are mentioning are accurate.
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