A six-member investigation team on Tuesday visited the crash site of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-661 in Havelian.
The team comprises of three French and three Canadian officials from the France-based ATR aircraft manufacturer. The team will work jointly with Pakistan’s Safety Investigation Board (SIB) to ascertain the cause of the December 7 crash.
The black box and voice recorder of the aircraft will also be sent to France to begin probe. The French embassy has issued directives to facilitate travel and other arrangements of the experts in connection with the investigation.
Earlier sources said inquiry of the incident could take up to three weeks after data from the black box and the recorder is received.
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane carrying 47 people, which was en route to Islamabad from the northern city of Chitral crashed near Abbottabad last week.
Flight PK-661 crashed into a hillside after one of its two turboprop engines failed shortly after take-off, and burst into flames.
PIA Chairman Azam Saigol resigned from his post on Monday citing personal reasons, less than a week after the crash.
The media focus following the crash has fallen on PIA’s safety record, but the loss-making state carrier has vehemently denied media reports that there was a fault with the aircraft before the takeoff.
On Monday, PIA grounded its fleet of 10 European-made ATR planes after Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority decided to conduct “shakedown tests” of the carrier’s entire ATR fleet.
Officials say the crashed ATR-42 aircraft, built in 2007, had racked up 18,739 flight hours since joining PIA’s fleet that year and the plane’s captain, Saleh Janjua, had logged more than 12,000 flight hours over his career.