Close call: PIA plane lands despite engine fire

Fire erupted in one of the engines of Airbus 310 fifteen minutes after the take-off.

Passengers of the PIA Airbus A-310 talking to the media after the aircraft made an emergency landing. PHOTO: EXPRESS/MOHAMMAD NOMAN

ISLAMABAD/ KARACHI/ STOCKHOLM: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilot safely landed an Airbus A-310 aircraft after one of its engines caught fire minutes after takeoff from Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, on Sunday night.

The plane carrying 54 passengers and eight crew members departed for Dubai at 10:10pm but just 15 minutes later the pilot informed the control tower about an engine fire and requested permission for emergency landing.

“The pilot of the airplane, Captain Jarar, did a fine job in putting into action all the years of his training,” said Captain Junaid Yunus, the national air carrier’s managing director. “This is exactly what we train on simulators every six months. Landing on one engine is part of the drill.”

The incident was widely reported on national news channels and footage of a burning object in the backdrop of a black sky sent panic waves among people. Sound of a huge blast added to the anxiety.

“We all heard the blast and  rushed to the rooftop. We could see the plane in flames until it disappeared,” said Naseem Ahmed, a retired air force official, who lives near Shahrah-e-Faisal.

The fire, which erupted in the right engine of the A-310, had been subdued even before landing. Every plane has an inbuilt fire-fighting mechanism to deal with such situations.

Junaid Yunus said the huge sound was caused by a sudden vacuum, which was created as the engine stopped working and not because it burst.

“These are high-powered engines. When the engine stalls and air stops passing through, there is a gap in air mass and that is what causes a loud noise.”

Another PIA official said that none of the passengers or crew members was injured. The airline was making arrangements for the passengers on a 1:00am flight to Dubai till filing of this report.

PIA has been struggling to get its A-310s out of operations as it faces difficulty in financing repairs.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2013.


zain | 8 years ago | Reply

@Hairaan: and all curse to the corrupt who have looted and destroyed this country and its institutes with their greed and criminal minds and deeds

bilal | 8 years ago | Reply

excellent job captain jarar

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