AirBlue crash: New probe to be carried out, Defence Ministry tells PHC

Defence Ministry informs court that report will be compiled within 90 days.


Web Desk February 21, 2012

PESHAWAR: The Defence Ministry, while informing the Peshawar High Court about the progress of the AirBlue crash on Tuesday, said that it has directed the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to carry out a new investigation.

The Ministry of Defence informed the court that in compliance with the last hearing of the court, the report will be compiled within 90 days.

A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice PHC Dost Muhammad Khan was hearing the case.

The federal government informed the court that a notification was issued for the probe and that within the next 24 hours, the Defence Ministry will nominate experts for a 10-member committee headed by foreign air crash investigation officers.

The Defence Ministry informed the court that it had taken Rs30 million in order to issue succession certificates of Rs500,000 each to compensate the heirs of the victims of the crash, adding that a letter was written to the registrars of Sindh High Court and Islamabad High Court to assign a senior civil judge from each court to issue the certificates within 15 days.

The Defence Ministry also told the court that it had earlier asked the Ministry of Finance to release the funds and was told to ask the Maritime Security Agency for it.

Earlier, in December, the PHC had ordered AirBlue that compensation of Rs5 million should be made to each family within the deadline ending on March 20.

Representatives of AirBlue informed the court that till now, families of 72 victims have been compensated and 10 people more will be compensated soon, adding that the remaining 56 people who have sued AirBlue for higher claims will only be compensated once they withdraw the cases filed against the airline.

The PHC observed that the remaining heirs should be compensated regardless of the cases.

The court also directed AirBlue and Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), carrying out the DNA tests, that all the reports should be presented before the court in the next hearing on March 27.

The PHC had rejected the inquiry report conducted by the CAA and had termed it ‘incomplete.’ The court had also issued contempt notices to federal secretaries for law and defence for their failure to meet court orders in the case.

The case was filed by MNA Marvi Memon and the victims’ families which had said that the interrogation seemed unsatisfactory and unattended from many aspects.

(With additional reporting from our correspondent Azam Khan.)

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COMMENTS (16)

meekal ahmed | 9 years ago | Reply

@Hassan:

First of all, I am deeply sorry about the loss of your brother.

I agree. I have suggested that more details are needed on the captain's background and flying career. It is not enough to say he had 26,000 hours which is all that the report said. Some details of the first officers career in the PAF would also be useful -- including information on why he left and how well he did when he converted onto an A321.

The captain would have been very familiar with the EGPWS! Why not? Possibly not the enhanced version (which is look-ahead) in the other less-modern aircraft he flew in PIA but certainly the old GPWS.

I don't know what you mean by Airbus and ATC carrying out "exercises to manage the situation".

Finally, the numerous safety recommendations in the report, if implemented, are intended to prevent such accidents from happening again.

@Jat

I don't know if you are being serious or not. I have heard the suicide theory before. It is patently absurd -- but I suppose you could say that about every dead pilot.

On the issue of sensitive airspace, if you read the report he did NOT violate restricted airspace (but was awfully close to one as he would be since he was off-course).

Hassan | 9 years ago | Reply

My brother was on board that flight. We are not finding conspiracy theories. We believe that other than the pilot, there are other responsible parties involved too. If pilot made a mistake, then why he made that mistake. Was he trained enough for EGPWS warnings. How many times has airblue and air traffic control carried out exercises to manage such a situation.

Unfortunately we act once an incident has happened. We don't invest in preventing the accidents from happening.

The original report just says, pilot was fully rested. There should have been details of conversations he had in last 24 hours. Interviews of people he met. Medical reports etc. Its a long talk.

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