Pakpotpourri was offered this article to run by the writer.
On 20 April 2012, approx 18:40 pm, Flight 213 lost the contact with control tower, a Boeing 737-200 (AP-BKC), Bhoja Air Flight 213 carrying 127 people on a flight from Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport destined for Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport crashed near Chaklala killing all on board.
There were bad weather conditions, eye-witness reports say that the aircraft was already on fire on its landing approach before it crashed.Initial reports suggest that as the pilots of Bhoja Air Flight B4-213 attempted to land amidst rain and strong winds.The ill fated aircraft might have flown into an unexpected wind shear that possibly smashed it on the ground below.
The aircraft had been retired by Shaheen Air, due to not having sufficient Engine thrust power, which led this plane to be grounded just a month back. The same plane was acquired and placed in service by Bhoja Air in March 2012.The CAA officials knew that the plane is grounded due to technical faults, The Engine of this Boeing 737-200 had Thrust Combustion Issue.
On that fateful day, ATC had received two warning from Meteorologic Department that clouds and winds from North are not suitable for allowing flights to land or take off. The Meteorologic Department, first gave the warning at 1500 PST and then again it at 1800 PST. Flight 213 was approaching to make the landing . Permission to land was given, but before that, as per the eye witnesses account, the plane burst into flames, a ball of fire in the sky.
1. Meteorologic Department Informed Air Traffic Control at 1500 PST, That weather is not sufficient to land or to take off.
2. Meteorologist Department revised again given the same weather warning at 1800 PST that weather is not suitable for next an hour but ATC allowed some flights to take off and land.
3. ATC gave the clearance, authorized Flight 213 to land, that’s when pilot turned Landing Gear DOWN. “ Means Wheels Open “. Aircraft was probably hardly 250 kmph or 170 knots and constantly slowing down to make a proper landing approach.
4-Flight 213 ignored the warning because in various conditions pilots are experienced to land. Beside it private airlines save the fuel charges by not diverting as ideally it should have been done.
5-In Islamabad , ATC is still using old system ” ILS300 ” Instrument Landing System 300 means Aircraft should be in range of 300 meters to be fully engaged, which this aircraft wasn’t, after being engaged with ILS300 Radars and Aircraft’s instruments do the final adjustments to make easier and safer approach.
6- At 1840 PST Flight 213 went down, eye witness said flame of the fireball came down in a “mid air explosion ” . The air pocket, which made the plane stall, jammed and with in no time it lost the attitude, Pilot must have tried to increase thrust power , an immediate action in this situation.Plane will get out of control only when it stalls due to very slow flaps 20, rest the wind from the north played it’s part to bring it down, in seconds perhaps it would have been able to recover MAYBE if the thrust were fine .
7-This aircraft was grounded for almost 10 years by Shaheen Air due to the technical fault of ” Engine Thrust ” It is important to have balanced thrust engine power when landing specially in bad weather condition.
A number of things went wrong here. The clearance given to the flight to land, the faulty engine thrust coupled with bad weather condition.
How many back-up planes does Bhoja Air has? Why was it’s license cancelled and then renewed? Were the flights insured?What compensation has been paid to the victims families?
Will Bhoja Airlines care to share?
The writer is a social activist and a blogger .This article(a longer version under a different title)ran first on his own blog.