ISLAMABAD: I was a passenger on PIA flight PK 356 from Lahore to Islamabad, which landed in Islamabad on July 28 at 9:30 am, approximately 20 minutes before the ill-fated Airblue Flight 202 crashed into the Margalla hills in Islamabad in low visibility and hostile weather.
While I am grateful that our plane landed safely at Islamabad, I would like to bring to the notice of your readers that our plane was also forced to fly low over Islamabad in extremely poor visibility. After that it circled the city on a low flight path, took an unconventional route over the capital towards the landing strip at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport. This was probably necessitated by the weather, and it is therefore unfair to prematurely blame the Airblue pilot for that crash, as ‘experts’ appearing on the electronic media continued to do in the hours following the tragedy.
We would all do well to remember that included amongst the bereaved in this tragedy were the family of the pilot, and that jumping to conclusions before any evidence has even come to ground is not only hurtful and insensitive, it serves no productive purpose whatsoever.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2010.
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