Karachi plane crash apparently due to ‘human error’, says expert

November 6th, 2010 - 6:03 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Nov 6 (ANI): A human error appears to be the cause behind the twin-engined Beech 1900 aircraft crash in Karachi on Friday, a source in the aviation industry has said.

“It seems the plane crashed because of a human error,” The News quoted the source, as saying, on the condition of anonymity.

“When one engine of a plane stops working properly because of a technical fault, the pilot puts it on FEATHER, which means the engine is zeroed,” he explained.

“Only a non-functional engine is, however, put on FEATHER and if the other engine is also put on FEATHER by mistake, the aircraft loses balance as well as thrust,” the source added.

The source recalled that the pilot of Flight 688 of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had committed the same mistake, and had put the functioning engine on FEATHER. The Fokker aircraft of the PIA had crashed in Multan on July 10, 2006.

It seems that the pilot of Beech 1900 aircraft of JS Air, a private charter firm, too committed the same mistake and in panic put the functional engine of the twin-engine plane on FEATHER, the source believed.

“The facts about the crash will, however, be ascertained by the inquiry into the incident and the situation would become clearer after the inquiry report is made public,” he added.

A chartered aircraft, carrying staff from an Italian oil company- ENI, had crashed minutes after its take-off from the Jinnah Airport in Karachi on Friday, killing all 21 people on board. The pilot of the twin-engined turboprop operated by JS Air had reported engine trouble before the plane nose-dived near a military depot in a Karachi suburb.

The source pointed out that pilots of various private airlines have insufficient experience and in some cases the pilots do not have to their credit flight hours mandatory for flying a passenger aircraft. He was of the opinion that various small private firms induct inexperienced pilots to save money.

“The pilots lacking the required experience to fly a plane are always vulnerable to panic in case of an emergency and are most likely to take any wrong step, which can result in a fatal accident,” he said. (ANI)

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