21 perish in Karachi plane crash

Published: November 6, 2010
Rescuers and airport security personnel gather at aircraft crash site in Karachi on November 5, 2010. PHOTO: AFP

Rescuers and airport security personnel gather at aircraft crash site in Karachi on November 5, 2010. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: A twin-engine aircraft carrying 21 people crashed in the military’s central ordnance depot area near Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport on Friday shortly after takeoff at 7.13 am.  There were no survivors.

Fifteen of the passengers were employees of an Italian oil and gas exploration company, ENI. The employees, including one Italian citizen, were on their way to work at the Bhit Shah gas field in Sindh’s Jamshoro district. Two other passengers were contractors with ENI.

The company identified them as Altaf Hussain Khalid, Hussain Sadaqat, Jamali Nisar Ahmed, Khan Noor, Moazzam Saeed, Nadeem Ahmed, Nizamani Muhammad Azam, Rafique Sajid, Rana Muhammad Alam, Raza Amir, Saleemuddin, Sasso Antonio (Italian), Shah Iqbal Hussain, Siddique Shahid, Syed Anwar Imran, Syed Irshad Ali and Tahir Muhammad.

ENI had chartered the private airliner, JSAir, owned by the Jehangir Siddiqui Group of Companies, under a contract it signed in July 2007.

Three crew members of JSAir, including Chief Pilot (and general manager operations) Captain Naeemul Haq, First Officer Captain Muhammad Nauman Shamsi and flight technician Tariq Mehmood were also killed in the ill-fated flight. An Airport Security Force (ASF) sub-inspector Zafar Iqbal was also on board the flight.

According to JSAir manager Javedul Haque, the 19-seater airplane, Beechcraft 1900, had no safety or maintenance issues and was fit to fly before the accident occurred. “It was on a routine flight and many times the same aircraft had been flown without any problems,” he said.

Haque said the pilots were also very experienced with many flying hours under their belt. The 53-year-old chief pilot was a former squadron leader with the Pakistan Air Force and had over 6,000 flying hours. He was also looking after the flight safety matters of the company as Flight Safety Officer. Meanwhile, 35-year-old Captain Nauman had 800 hours of flying experience.

According to Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson Pervez George, an inquiry committee has been formed to investigate the incident. The team comprises four members, including Safety Investigation Board’s Air Commodore Khwaja Abdul Majeed, Group Captain Mujahid Islam, Sardar Illyas and Dr Afzal Boghio.

Experts from the US-based company that manufactured the plane, Hawker Beechcraft, and international aviation companies are expected to be part of the investigation, George said.

Investigators have found the black box located at the tail end of the aircraft, which will provide important clues as to why the crash happened.

Initial reports, however, suggest that one of the engines malfunctioned on takeoff. George says the pilot informed the control tower and was directed to return to the airport immediately. But when the aircraft took a sharp turn to head back, there was immense pressure on the other engine and it failed as well. It crashed just one nautical mile away from the airport.

CEO ENI Paolo Scaroni and COO Claudio Descalzi are flying to Pakistan to meet with the victims’ families.

Captain Hassam, who was a friend of the deceased co-pilot Nauman, says that it is not unusual for airplanes such as the Beechcraft to have an engine failure. He cautioned the investigators against blaming the pilots and urged that the inquiry report of this incident and all other such accidents be made public.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Farhan Mahfooz Khan
    Nov 6, 2010 - 10:30AM

    I knew captain Nauman Shamsi from a young age and the news of the plane crash and his demise is a huge shock. I pray that he gets to rest in peace and may Allah give his family sabar.

    I would also hope to see a clean and timely inquiry into this matter and appropriate financial support for his family. The deceased can’t be brought back but the least that could be done is financial and emotional support!Recommend

  • Sonia Khan
    Nov 6, 2010 - 11:54AM

    I’m really upset due to thee fact of this accident and would not want it to be repeated. I’m also very scared because I’m going to Pakistan in less than 5 weeks. Recommend

  • Ijaz Randhawa
    Nov 6, 2010 - 4:15PM

    I am very much upset when i come to knew that a plane crash in karachi,my friend and class fellow Syed Irshad Ali also died in this accident,may allah given her family and wife patience to bear this big loss.We spent a lot of time together as room mat.He was a great person as colleague in FFBL.
    we were lived in Ghulshan – E Hadeed with other friends Abid,Yousuf,Shahid Bashir and Tanveer, passed a immemriable time.

    Ijaz Hussain Randhawa

  • Umar
    Nov 7, 2010 - 2:33AM

    Captian Nauman Shamshi was a family friend. He has left behind three young kids 2 daughters and 1 son. May Allah Bless his Soul and he rests in Peace !!Recommend

  • M. Sulaiman Khan
    Nov 7, 2010 - 1:25PM

    Capt. M.Nauman ShamsiMy Brother-in-Law, My Friend, My Buddy …!

    The aircraft had a technical fault and its engines were repaired 1 day a go …!

    JS Air & its Authorities should be held responsible for this accident and should give explanation in Black n White …! Recommend

  • Junaid Butt
    Nov 7, 2010 - 5:17PM

    Friday morning when I woke up someone told me that a small plane crashed in Karachi…trust me or not ….somehow my heart said….God bless Nauman…but I donno why i was feeling that Nauman is no more….Nauman miss you yar.,….Mera pyara dost..bhai….Nauman you will remain in our heart forever…Miss you yar..Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Nov 7, 2010 - 8:52PM

    The remark that “immense pressure” was put on the good engine and therefore it failed too makes no sense from a technical standpoint. All twin-engine aircraft small or big are designed to fly on one engine. A dual engine failure is a highly unlikely event since each engine operates independently. Engines can flame out because of a bird-strike (The US Airways Airbus A320 Hudson Miracle), fuel-starvation/ice accumulation (the British Airways 777 which landed short at Heathrow) and flying through volcanic ash (British Airways 747 which lost ALL four engines when it flew through ash at 32,000 feet en-route to Australia).

    Sadly, this seems like an engine-out was not handled as it should have been handled and is taught/practiced in flight simulators over and over again. It is an emergency but it is one that you can cope with and are trained for.

    Pretty much the same set of circumstances as the PIA F.27 crash in Multan a few years back.

    Both were survivable accidents. Recommend

  • Naveed Ul Qamar Hussain
    Nov 15, 2010 - 12:59PM

    the people who lost their lifes in this plan crash most of them were my colligues and seniors as i was doing job their on the same plant in year 2003. May Allah give them place in Jannat and give paitenance to their families AMEEN SUMMA AMEEN.

    Taha Naveed

  • Nov 29, 2010 - 7:31PM

    Muhammad Nauman Shamsi was related to me, I remember we last met in my brother in laws house at clifton. He was a thorough professional who loved his profession so much.
    I will never name it an unfortunate accident, It is a blatant negligence / a compromise on preventive maintenance standards
    I just cant pronounce shamsi dead he will live in our hearts and in the aviation history for ever. Recommend

  • Faisal
    Dec 1, 2010 - 7:34PM

    Noman Shamsi (Nomi) is just like my younger brother i said “is” just because he is shaheed and shaheed is not died according to our muslim belief, Its about a month passed of his accident but I still have painful heart and wet eyes, He used to be a very very nice person in all tha ways he always laugh and make other laugh always our family experience a great loss by loosing him, May Allah give him very high position in Jannat, and give his wife and children a proper and prosperous life. AMEEN Recommend

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