- The passenger plane came down on houses in Karachi on 22 May, 2020.
- Only two passengers survived the crash.
- Aviation Minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan said the pilots didn't follow protocols during a presentation at the Pakistani parliament.
- The crash came just days after Pakistan began allowing commercial flights to resume after coronavirus restrictions were eased.
A report released on Wednesday states that the plane crash that killed 97 people in Pakistan last month was because of human error by the pilots, who were discussing the coronavirus during the landing, according to the country's Aviation minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan.
The Pakistan International Airlines plane came down among houses on May 22 after both engines failed as it approached Karachi airport, killing all but two people on board.
“The pilot, as well as the controller, didn’t follow the standard rules,” the country’s aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said, announcing the findings in parliament.
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The minister added the pilots had been discussing the coronavirus pandemic as they attempted to land the Airbus A320 and had disengaged the craft’s autopilot.
“Unfortunately the pilot was overconfident,” Khan said, adding that the plane was flying at more
Standard flight operating procedures were then ignored by the pilots and the air traffic controller, resulting in an aborted crash landing that heavily damaged the plane’s engines.
The aircraft then went down as it attempted a second landing, crashing into a residential area near the Karachi airport.
The Pakistani investigation team, which included officials from the French government and the aviation industry, analysed data and voice recorders.
Read What Exactly Happened:
Purported audio of the conversation between air traffic control and a pilot for the second attempt was published shortly after the crash by Pakistani media outlets, in which the pilot is heard saying the plane has "lost engines".
An air traffic controller asks whether it is going to carry out a "belly landing", to which the pilot replies "mayday, mayday, mayday" - the final communication from the plane.
Muhammad Zubair, one of the two surviving passengers, said there were 10-15 minutes between the first attempt at landing and the crash. "No-one was aware that the plane was about to crash; they were flying the plane in a smooth manner," he said.
He recalled how he lost consciousness during the sudden descent, then woke up to smoke and screaming.