‘Crashed plane had 4.5 hours of fuel’

Crash site cleared of wreckage as investigators get to work.

Our Correspondent February 24, 2012


The wreckage of a small plane that crashed in Model Town on Thursday was removed from the scene on Friday afternoon after investigations by Civil Aviation Authority personnel.

It was important that the investigation team, headed by Abdul Majed, inspect the scene of the crash to ascertain its cause as there was no black box in the plane, said CAA officials.

Instructor Anita Sikandar Qureshi and trainee pilot Waqar Asif Sheikh were killed when their AP-BCS Cessna 150 crashed. Qureshi was laid to rest in Hyderabad and Sheikh in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Karachi, earlier in the day.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane plummet towards the ground with its engine apparently off before crashing in a driveway in a Model Town house. The wreck of the plane did not catch fire, suggesting that it had run out of fuel.

However, Ghulam Mustafa Meerani, manager of Walton Airport, told The Express Tribune that the inventory indicated the plane had enough fuel for four-and-a-half hours of flight. The plane took off from Walton at around 1:20pm and crashed around 30 minutes later. Rescue 1122 spokesman Farooq Ahmad said that an ambulance and a fire van stood by at the scene of the crash on Friday as well. “There was a smell of high octane oil at the place and there were a lot of people around, so the emergency vehicles were there just in case,” he said.

A Model Town police official at the scene said on the condition of anonymity that there were marks on the floor indicating an oil spill and the investigation team had recommended that the spot be sprayed with foam. “We suggested water but they said that could spoil the evidence, so Rescue 1122 sprayed foam on the spot as a precautionary measure,” he said.

After the investigation team collected evidence, the wreckage was cut into small pieces, loaded on to a private truck by a Model Town Society lifter and shifted to Walton Airport. Hundreds of people visited the spot to look at the wreck, while Punjab Forensic Science Agency and Rescue 1122 officials were also present at the scene.

Meerani said the investigation team had taken samples of the plane for technical examination. The maintenance record and registry of the plane and profiles of the pilots would also be examined. He said the aircraft was worth about Rs6 million.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2012.


Cautious | 9 years ago | Reply

The issue usually isn't the quantity of fuel but the quality of fuel and whether the plane has been timely serviced by qualified mechanics.

Robert Scovill | 9 years ago | Reply


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