News Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 flight PK8303 crash

dbeachy1

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Quoting from CNN.com:

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) At least 97 people have been killed after a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight crashed Friday in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, according to a statement from the Sindh Health Department.

The airline's CEO said at a news conference that the flight from Lahore was carrying 99 passengers and crew members in total. A rescue operation is being carried out by Pakistan's Army Search and Rescue Team.

Two passengers survived but 97 bodies have been recovered, Pakistan Armed Forces spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar said on Saturday. Army troops, rangers and social welfare organizations were assisting in the search, he added.

He added: "97 bodies recovered. 2 passengers survived. 25 affected houses cleared, their residents accommodated at various places with the assistance of Civil Administration."

The plane did not hit any buildings and no one on the ground appears to have been killed, PIA CEO Air Vice Marshal Arshad Malik had earlier told reporters in Karachi. The plane landed in a lane.

Malik said the airline was tracking the number of dead by coordinating with local hospitals, a procedure that will take at least two days. He only knew of one survivor, Zafar Masood, the CEO of the Bank of Punjab.

More information in the article here and the breaking news feed here.
 

Urwumpe

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The last pictures of the aircraft are really mysterious, with both engines having black marks on the bottom and one of the engines looking bend, while the RAT was deployed.
 

Evil_Onyx

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The crew called ATC saying they had "lost engines" and subsequently declared a Mayday. The RAT can be automatically deployed in the event of failure of both engines generators.

There is a suggestion that the aircraft made a gear up touch and go, then performed a go around before crashing 4 to 5 minutes later.

ASN database entry https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20200522-0
 

Urwumpe

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The aircraft continued the approach. What exactly transpired is unclear at this time, but ARY News quoted from a CAA Pakistan report that stated scrape marks from the no.1 engine started on the runway at 4500 feet (1370 m) from the threshold followed by no.2 engine scrape marks at 5500 feet (1675 m).

Did the main landing gear fail? o_O
 

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I'm thinking they may have retracted gear for a go-around but did so too early. And then settled onto the runway. That could have damaged the engines enough for them to ingest debris from the cowling or just caused enough damage to cause them to quit.

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Urwumpe

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I'm thinking they may have retracted gear for a go-around but did so too early. And then settled onto the runway. That could have damaged the engines enough for them to ingest debris from the cowling or just caused enough damage to cause them to quit.

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Is it even possible to retract gear while WOW? :hmm:
 

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Is it even possible to retract gear while WOW? :hmm:

I could see it happening if you're taking out enough lift to take all but a few percent of the weight off the wheels.

Also there are some reports that the crew reported a gear issue to ATC.
 

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It appears that the aircraft touched down with the gear up. Both engines scrapped the runway. Contact happened almost/about halfway down the runway, which is over 11k feet long.

They never contacted the ground to tell them they were attempting a gear-up landing. Emergency services were not alerted and the runway was not foamed.

They did lower the gear after gaining altitude in the go-around.

I don't know much about the Airbus systems but I've heard that the gear won't go down if above 260IAS. The video and pictures make it look like it was a high speed approach. Maybe they needed to recycle the gear handle once below 260, but never did and assumed it would drop on it's own.

It looks like they touched down pretty fast as there weren't any scrapes from the tail, just the engine cowlings.

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All of that sounds like they were fully assuming the gear to be lowered, but it wasn't. Is such a thing even possible?
 

Urwumpe

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All of that sounds like they were fully assuming the gear to be lowered, but it wasn't. Is such a thing even possible?


No idea, but the aircraft was already audible complaining about many things during the first approach. Maybe the crew was confused by the many alerts that came from the aircraft being in the wrong configuration for landing. I doubt that they had simply forgotten it, but that could also be possible.

Or it was a technical issue, but still, it does not explain why the crew did not abort landing before touchdown. Something must have been very wrong between sidestick and rudder pedals.
 
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If history is any indication, it's never as straightforward as gear broke or pilot skipped a step.
 

Urwumpe

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If history is any indication, it's never as straightforward as gear broke or pilot skipped a step.


Not sure - in some cases it is that simple. Helios Air 522 really happened because a ground engineer simply left a switch in a wrong position.



OK, and the crew did not notice that the switch was in a different position than usual three times. And did not notice that the position indicator above the switch was not indicating a closed vent valve...



And did not notice that there is something wrong with the cabin pressure schedule.



But except these small details, it was really a very straight forward way to destroy an aircraft...
 
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Thunder Chicken

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If history is any indication, it's never as straightforward as gear broke or pilot skipped a step.


I'm very much wondering if the pilots simply landed gear up, maybe lowering the gear at too high a speed, such that the gear lever was down but the system did not deploy them. That would seem improbable until you look at the A320 landing gear indication systems.


https://safetyfirst.airbus.com/app/...ments/archives/a320-landing-gear-downlock.pdf


The table on page 4 is interesting, as it shows a landing gear downlocked sensor error configuration that shows L/G NOT DOWN in the ECAM. Appropriate pilot response? Land as normal. :facepalm:I am not an A320 pilot, but non-intuitive talkbacks like that are very poor design IMO.



I'm sure with training this is readily identifiable, but so many sensor annunciations and warnings going off that maybe the 750 ft altitude warning for gear deployment just gets tuned out and acknowledged without really seeing the issue.
 

Linguofreak

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All of that sounds like they were fully assuming the gear to be lowered, but it wasn't. Is such a thing even possible?

It happens a fair bit in general aviation, but it's almost unheard of in commercial aviation. But there seems to be a good chance that that is exactly what happened.
 

Marijn

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I think every modern plane has some kind of a red-orange-green warning light for each gear which indicates it's status. It's part of every landing checklist to confirm gear down and locked. But since the saga with the autopilot of the 737 MAX, nothing will surprise me anymore when it comes to the modern design of flight systems.

I am waiting for the story to develop. A big airliner, skidding over the runway on it's engines and taking off again is something I find hard to imagine.

Without the gear, the tail would be in a lower position above the runway. The plane needs to rotate to increase the angle of attack to generate the lift. I wonder if there is enough space under the tail for that to happen when sliding over the runway. The only way to compensate a low AOA is with increased speed, but increasing speed without a gear doesn't sound very likely to me neither.
 

Linguofreak

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I am waiting for the story to develop. A big airliner, skidding over the runway on it's engines and taking off again is something I find hard to imagine.

Someone being stupid/drunk/asleep enough to attempt a go-around after an accidental gear up landing is even harder to imagine.

But the photographic evidence for it is pretty solid. There's a couple of 2000-foot-long scrape marks on the runway surface at A320 engine spacing, and a photo of the aircraft with the bottoms of the engines blackened and scuffed up.

Without the gear, the tail would be in a lower position above the runway. The plane needs to rotate to increase the angle of attack to generate the lift. I wonder if there is enough space under the tail for that to happen when sliding over the runway. The only way to compensate a low AOA is with increased speed, but increasing speed without a gear doesn't sound very likely to me neither.

The A320 can accelerate at more than half a G at empty weight. I can just barely imagine the aircraft resuming flight if there isn't a structural or mechanical failure first. I have a harder time imagining the engines lasting long enough to accomplish that, but it seems to have happened.
 

Thunder Chicken

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CCTV video appears to show PK8303 just before and during crash with the landing gear apparently deployed.



[ame="https://twitter.com/KarachiWok/status/1263864005266980867"]Weather Of Karachi- WOK on Twitter: "Exclusive CCTV Footage of today Plane Crash Near Karachi Airport
#Breaking #PlaneCrash #Karachi #Pakistan #PIA… "[/ame]


Still photos show PK8303 with gear up, scraped nacelles, and the RAT deployed.


This gets stranger and stranger - why would they deploy landing gear if they had engine damage and were struggling to maintain altitude?
 

Linguofreak

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This gets stranger and stranger - why would they deploy landing gear if they had engine damage and were struggling to maintain altitude?

My theory: They weren't keeping up with the workload: they were behind the aircraft and behind the situation. They were apparently consistently above their ATC cleared altitude coming in. So they forgot things, skipped checklists and then, BAM, belly landing. Their startle reaction is to go around, and now the engines are throwing fits about being dragged along the ground for half a mile, and their workload is *really* high, and the adrenaline reduces their margin to handle it even further. They think "we forgot to configure the aircraft for landing, let's make sure we get it done this time", and dirty up the aircraft right when they need it to be clean. They find themselves sinking too fast, haul back on the stick, and stall it in. BAM. (It being an Airbus, maybe the avionics prevented a stall, but the AOA in that video looks pretty high, and I can well imagine a generator failure or some such thing kicking the avionics into alternate law. In any case, they have to at least been right up against the AOA limit, and even without a stall, that's going to reduce your L:D and make your glide steeper).
 

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I tested what kind of alarms would the crew experiment, on X-Plane 11 using Flight Factor A-320...



  • IAS > 260 knots (265):
If you place the landing gear lever down, the gear doesn't come down, the landing gear screen is shown on the lower ECAM, showing not movement at all on the doors and the gear, and the gear down indicators remain red.
If the gear lever is mantained in down position for some seconds, the ECAM will trigger a Gear Not Downlocked message, asociated with a Master Warn, and a continuous bell.



  • Approaching terrain with gear up (GPWS not overriden, in normal operation).
Several "Too low, terrain/Too low, Gear/Too low, flaps (depending on configuration)" alarms will sound. If you continue to descend in this configuration, an Gear Not Downlocked failure will be triggered, with the same warnings as on the above case.


I did this test yesterday, don't remember exactly what the triggered ECAM Messages/actions were.


I just did this to confirm that the crew had to face many alarms, and the really strange thing here is how could them ignore every single one...


What I think happened is that they approached the runway at really high speed. The gear lever was down, when they scrapped the runway, and went around, the airspeed went below 260, enabling the gear to come down as the lever was down. That explains the pictures with the gear down.


This is very strange...
 
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