Have few flight paths over populated areas: Pakistani daily

May 19th, 2012 - 12:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, May 19 (IANS) Few flight paths should go over densely populated areas, said a leading Pakistani daily Saturday following the death of four pilots in a mid-air collision of two Pakistan Air Force aircraft.

Four pilots - two instructors and two trainees - were killed Thursday when two PAF aircraft collided mid-air over Nowshera district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

An editorial in the Dawn said that “these were lives lost in vain, and while a board of inquiry has been ordered by the air headquarters, it might not be possible to ascertain the true cause of the accident”.

Eight civilians were injured, four of them seriously, when the wreckage of the aircraft fell on two houses.

“The tragedy should be taken, though, as a reason to revisit the issue of the route taken on flight training sessions and the harm that can come to people on the ground in case accidents occur,” the daily said.

This is the second plane crash involving trainee pilots this year where the wreckage fell on houses. In February, a small aircraft that had taken off from Lahore’s Walton Airport crashed in a residential area, killing both the instructor and the trainee.

The editorial said that authorities “need to look into how best to protect populations on the ground”.

“True, this is no doubt a challenging task, given that apart from the urban centres small towns and villages dot much of the country’s landscape liberally. But at least an effort can be made to ensure that as few flight paths as possible go over densely populated areas,” it added.

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