Pilot guilty in Airblue crash: PHC

Published: October 3, 2013
The Airblue plane crash site. PHOTO: REUTERS

The Airblue plane crash site. PHOTO: REUTERS

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court announced its verdict on the Airblue crash case stating that the pilot, Parvez Iqbal was guilty, Express News reported on Thursday.

The court declared that the tragic air crash occurred because the pilot was tired and was unable to perform his duties properly. Moreover, “the air control tower did not give appropriate directions to the pilot,” the court stated.

An Airblue flight crashed in the Margalla Hills in Islamabad on July 28, 2010, killing all 152 people on board.

Consequently, the PHC ordered Airblue to provide financial compensation to the families of the victims and also issued directives to investigate the incident under the supervision of foreign experts.

The CAA released its report on April 24, 2012 claiming the flight’s captain, Parvez Iqbal, ignored suggestions of the air traffic controller many times. The tone of the captain was also condescending and inappropriate, added the report.

The investigation report was presented before the PHC in March, with the Civil Aviation Authority admitting the pilot and air traffic controller were responsible for the incident. It revealed the air traffic controller was inexperienced in managing such situations.

The PHC in August issued instructions to the legal heirs of the Air Blue crash victims to attach indemnity bonds while producing successor certificates for claiming compensation.

PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan issued these instructions while hearing a writ petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s Marvi Memon against the Airblue administration.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • bashir
    Oct 3, 2013 - 4:13PM

    Will anyone bring prosecute against the Airblue management for employing an over age pilot and than also for the strenuous schedule. I guess not (as the CEO is a sitting MP belonging to the ruling party)-Democracy galore…


  • Nadir
    Oct 3, 2013 - 4:49PM

    Ahh I see, so missiles were not launched from the US embassy after all then?


  • AliKuliKhan
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:18PM

    Airblue did not do anything wrong. The pilot was physically fit and experienced. He was not overworked. He had spent the previous night praying therefore did not get the required rest.


  • Jibran
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:23PM

    Does it surprise anyone? Even if the pilot was tired, he was not blind. And after all, he was part of Airblue. PMLN’s long term investment in the judiciary keeps on paying its dividends. Another chamak ka faisla.


  • Slap
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:31PM

    Bashir: Pilot was not overage. He would not have a license to fly if he was. Get your facts right!


  • Asad Khan
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:39PM


    Democracy rules because it counts the masses arithmetically. The problem is with the masses mentality, the masses failed to acknowledge the fact that the chief pilot of the said a/c failed to perform his duty properly and thought he is all knowing all super duper.

    I’ve read the report more twice and I pray to Almighty that the chief pilot will not rest in peace in hereafter.



  • ocap
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:59PM

    Surely you mean responsible for the accident and not guilty [of the crime]. Guilty would imply that the pilot was under the influence of drugs or part of some other illegal activity that directly led to the crash. All your information says is that the pilot was tired, which was not illegal last time I checked. The airline might be guilty for forcing its pilot to fly knowing well that he was tired or for failing to ensure proper checks (if there are any prescribed by the authorities) testing the pilot’s capacity to run the flight (again there is no such information in your story).


  • SAyWhat?
    Oct 3, 2013 - 6:14PM

    @AliKuliKhan: Don’t fool yourself and us too! That pilot was crazy from all international and local standards. Didn’t you read the International Civil Aviation Black Box conversation between the pilot his assistant and the control tower?


  • Haider Haroon
    Oct 3, 2013 - 6:18PM

    Blame the dead guy, how convenient


  • yousafhaque
    Oct 3, 2013 - 7:09PM

    If the staff at air traffic control tower did not give ‘appropriate directions’ to the airblue pilot then how come the pilot is/was guilty.Are we not masters of creating confusion,just to save the skin of someone who is guilty in reality


  • natasha
    Oct 3, 2013 - 7:55PM

    yes blame someone who cannot defend himself!!!!!we have no morals!!!how about giving the nation access to the black box recording so we can deduce for ourselves if the poor pilot was infact negligent


  • Faisal
    Oct 3, 2013 - 8:07PM

    Bashir, the CEO isn’t just an MP, he is the minister.Recommend

  • fawad
    Oct 3, 2013 - 8:25PM

    @jibran: It was IMC conditions, nothing was visible. So there is no question of blindness. It was a question of being vigilant.


  • Imran
    Oct 4, 2013 - 12:48AM

    Yes the pilot was responsible according to joint investigation led by aviation experts from pakistan,france and perhaps NTSB of USA. The report is available online. Investigating an aircrash is a highly technical procedure. I am amazed that judges are making decisions who is to blame and who not. Simply appalling. Recommend

  • Bilawal
    Oct 4, 2013 - 1:50AM

    @Air Blue. My driver just taught his son how to drive. He is looking for jobs these days. Why don’t you give him an opportunity? You can test his driving skills on a plane by giving the next flight to him#


  • Hassan
    Oct 4, 2013 - 9:00AM

    This was bound to happen. My brother was in that flight and we were following this case throughly. The judge initially promised a lot of things to gain reputation. Then slowly backed off from all his commitments that he had ordered within the code proceedings.

    May Allah guide us all to correct path. Person who facilitates the criminals will be part of the crime and will be punished InshaAllah.

    Questions: Why was the pilot tired. If he was tired, why is it not mentioned in the investigation report. Is there no procedure to check pilots awareness before the flight? Not even one pilot, there were two. Why didn’t the other pilot have enough competence to overtake the flight control from the captain. There were some serious management flaws here that are completely ignored by the courts so that AirBlue don’t get any blame in this crash.


  • PakShock!
    Nov 18, 2013 - 6:01AM

    @Hassan: Bro! If you had a close relative among the crash victims, then you must read the Civil Aviation copy(in-plane recorder) of the conversation between the Pilot his 2nd in command and the control tower. Don’t listen to these hearsay and proofless gossip.


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