Pilot held responsible for PIA plane skidding off runway

Published October 24, 2019
Pakistan International Airlines Chief Executive Officer Air Vice Marshal Noor Abbas informed a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation on Wednesday that a pilot was responsible for the PIA plane skidding off the runway at Gilgit airport on July 21. — Wikimedia Commons/File
Pakistan International Airlines Chief Executive Officer Air Vice Marshal Noor Abbas informed a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation on Wednesday that a pilot was responsible for the PIA plane skidding off the runway at Gilgit airport on July 21. — Wikimedia Commons/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines Chief Executive Officer Air Vice Marshal Noor Abbas informed a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation on Wednesday that a pilot was responsible for the PIA plane skidding off the runway at Gilgit airport on July 21.

Discussing the issue, he said that though experienced and familiar with Gilgit airport, she landed the flight PK605 ‘hot’ (at high speed) with 50 passengers and crew members on board.

“We are waiting for a final report from the safety board,” the senior PIA official said, adding that some technical faults were also found with the ATR aircraft, but its brakes were fully functional.

The matter was still under investigation, he said.

Senate panel also debates fake degrees of some PIA employees

Discussing the issue of fake degrees of some PIA employees and dismissal of some of them from service, the committee observed that the PIA review committee should have maintained uniform criteria while dealing with cases of fake degrees of PIA employees.

“Action should also be taken against all those officers and board members who had appointed the people with fake degrees without verifying their documents,” chairman of the committee PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan said.

The committee noted that the dismissal of the staff after 30 to 40 years of their service to the organisation was a little bit harsh punishment and the management should have adopted a lenient attitude while taking action into the matter.

“The tough action of the PIA management has caused distress among hundreds of families of sacked PIA employees,” the chairman of the committee said.

Besides the staff at lower positions and cabin crew, 10 pilots have also been dismissed from service after their degrees were found fake.

The committee was informed by Air Vice Marshal Noor Abbas that the cases of fake degrees had been divided into three categories. Of 650 cases, 15 employees were called to record their statements before the committee. Documents of 300 dismissed staff members were reviewed by the committee.

The Senate standing committee chairman, however, said that he knew of a dozen employees who were still working in the PIA on fake degrees.

“If these 12 PIA employees could be dealt with compassion, others should also have been shown similar leniency,” Mushahidullah Khan said.

Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2019

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