Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023 | Last Update : 01:27 PM IST

  World   Asia  13 Dec 2016  French-built ATR planes grounded after fatal crash

French-built ATR planes grounded after fatal crash

PTI
Published : Dec 13, 2016, 1:54 am IST
Updated : Dec 13, 2016, 5:32 am IST

The fleet would now undergo thorough testing after the two incidents, the airline said.

Pakistani investigators inspect the wreckage of the PIA passenger plane Flight PK661 at its crash site in Saddha Batolni, Abbottabad district. (Photo: AFP)
 Pakistani investigators inspect the wreckage of the PIA passenger plane Flight PK661 at its crash site in Saddha Batolni, Abbottabad district. (Photo: AFP)

Islamabad: Pakistan’s national carrier PIA on Monday grounded all 10 French-built ATR turboprop planes in its fleet, days after one of its flights carrying 47 people crashed en route to Islamabad, killing everyone on board.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-661 smashed into a hillside in the country’s north while travelling from the city of Chitral to Islamabad on Wednesday.

The airline has said one of the planes’ two turboprop engines had failed.

Another PIA ATR flight faced “technical issues” on Sunday, just before take off from the central city of Multan and was called back to its parking bay. However, the airline denied media reports that one of the engines had caught fire.

The fleet would now undergo thorough testing after the two incidents, the airline said.

“In view of Civil Aviation Authority’s decision of holding shakedown tests of PIA’s entire ATR fleet, it has been decided to keep all 10 ATR aircraft grounded till they are cleared after thorough examination,” PIA spokesman Danyal Gilani said.

The ATR 42-500 is a twin turboprop regional aircraft that carries 48 passengers in standard configuration. ATR aircraft are capable of operations on both paved and unpaved strips. The engines are built by US manufacturer Pratt & Whitney.

The company has so far declined to comment while Pakistani authorities are probint the causes of the crash.

So far, PIA has not released any report on the cause of PK-661 flight’s.

Earlier, it had said the cause of the accident could only be determined once the data from the black box had been analysed.

The plane had descended in an unsymmetrical manner, after which it lost altitude in a few moments before it crashed in Saddha Batolni village near Havelian, killing all 47 people on board, including pop singer-turned-Islamic preacher Junaid Jamshed, his wife and deputy commissioner, Chitral, Osama Warraich.

According to the flight manifest, 31 men, nine women, two infants and five crew members were on board the ATR-42 aircraft, which lost contact with the Air Traffic Control at Islamabad’s Benazir International Airport.

Tags: pakistan plane crash, air traffic control, pakistan international airlines (pia)