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Shaheen Air crash landing: Pilot was under the influence of alcohol, report finds

Updated November 13, 2015

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The plane had skidded off the runway after its tyre burst due to a fault in the landing gear. — DawnNews screengrab
The plane had skidded off the runway after its tyre burst due to a fault in the landing gear. — DawnNews screengrab
Passengers were evacuated through the emergency gate of the aircraft. ─ DawnNews screengrab
Passengers were evacuated through the emergency gate of the aircraft. ─ DawnNews screengrab
A view of the aircraft after it made an emergency landing at Lahore airport. ─ DawnNews screengrab
A view of the aircraft after it made an emergency landing at Lahore airport. ─ DawnNews screengrab

KARACHI: The Shaheen Air International pilot commandeering flight NL-142 which crash-landed at Lahore airport earlier this month was intoxicated and fatigued at the time of landing, a medical report reveals.

At least 10 passengers were injured as the Karachi-Lahore flight carrying over a hundred people crash landed at Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport, skidding off the runway when faulty landing gear caused a tyre to burst.

Earlier reports said the pilot of the aircraft had given prior intimation to airport authorities regarding the fault in the landing gear before making the emergency landing.

In an official press release by the Civil Aviation Authority titled 'Snap/random medical tests of cockpit and cabin crew', the CAA stated that it has conducted a medical investigation involving the cockpit crew following the incident. The press release stated that the "the pilot in command had an unacceptable level of blood alcohol and lactate. The lactate indicates that the pilot was fatigued". The press release quoting Director General (DG) CAA Amjad Ali Toor outlined these reasons for the crash landing.

A copy of the CAA press release.
A copy of the CAA press release.

The DG CAA asked airlines to ensure their pilots "maintain highest levels of aviation standards and refrain from flying under the influence of alcohol".

He said all operators would need to be more vigilant while enforcing discipline amongst their cockpit and cabin crew to prevent future occurrences of similar incidents.

Toor said the CAA would also make efforts to ensure compliance with flight safety standards.

The CAA has in the past failed to take regulatory action against violators of air safety laws.

Earlier this year, the authority and flight operator were slammed for inaction in the face of violation of rules by 'influential' pilot Qasim Hayat who operated a Toronto-bound flight without mandatory 24-hour rest.

Last year, flight inspector Arif Majeed was let off the hook for flying a passenger flight despite not being authorised to do so.