48 passengers were killed in the crash
A fractured turbine blade triggered a “complicated” sequence of failures that culminated in the fatal Havelian PIA crash in 2016, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board of Pakistan has said in a progress report given to the Sindh High Court.
“[The] AAIB is of the view that the crash event was one of its kind that had never been experienced on any other ATR aircraft internationally,” the progress report said. “The way, [the] chain of events occurred was highly unexpected and exceptional.”
It is worth quoting from point No. 10 that gives the board’s position in more detail: “There were two latent technical anomalies and one latent condition.
The failure events occurred in a sequence where one preceded another. The failure sequence was triggered because of fracture of turbine blade (consequent to one procedural anomaly of PIA maintenance), and had any of these three latent factors not existed and triggered by a blade failure, this complicated catastrophic sequence of failures subsequently leading to crash, could have been averted.”
Forty-eight passengers, including scholar Junaid Jamshed, were killed in the crash. The plane, PK-661, was travelling from Chitral to Islamabad.
The Civil Aviation Authority submitted its initial report into the investigation to the Sindh High Court on Tuesday, October 27.
Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar asked about the final investigation report.
“Where is the final report? The accident occurred in 2016 and you still haven’t completed the investigation,” he said.
The CAA said that the plane was manufactured by three countries. The reports from France and Canada have been submitted and the US has yet to submit its report on overhauling and acceleration.
The court has given the authority till November 19 to submit it.
Clarification: An earlier version of this article ran with the headline: CAA holds PIA responsible for 2016 Havelian crash. We have updated and edited it to provide more clarity and nuance).