RAWALPINDI: The Safety Investigation Board (SIB) of Pakistan, which was given full authority by the government to investigate into the 2016 deadly plane crash incident of PIA aircraft ATR42-500 (PK-661) has said in its concluding remarks that the grave incident occurred due to the negligence on part of PIA and dereliction in the oversight mechanism by Civil Aviation Authority.
On Dec 7, 2016, PIA aircraft ATR42-500 (PK-661) en route to Islamabad from Chitral had crashed into the mountains near Havelian tehsil of Abbottabad.
In the light of preliminary report issued by SIB, “The investigation is near to a concluding stage and some of the important findings of technical nature require immediate attention/intervention,”
Finding committee has urged the national flag carrier to significantly evaluate its oversight mechanism by taking all necessary steps for improvement with a view to ensure maximum adequacy and to refrain from such lapses in future.
The SIB that works under the umbrella of aviation division has also shared its report both with the CAA and PIA.
PIA official disclosed that “The SIB’s suggestions will be followed with a reply.”
According to the SIB report, The series of events that resulted into this tragic incident started with dislodging of one blade of power turbine stage-1, inside engine-1 (left side engine), due to fatigue. This dislodging of one blade resulted in an in-flight engine shutdown and it contributed towards erratic/ abnormal behaviour of No 1 propeller.
Secondly, it is mandatory that turbine blades were to be changed after completion of 10,000 hours which were merely not changed and the said engine was under maintenance on Nov 11, 2016 and at that time these blades had crossed 10,004.1 hours (of use). Hence, the deadline matured.
SIB report also unearthed that the aircraft flew approximately 93 hours after the said maintenance activity before it crashed and added that “Missing out of such an activity highlights a lapse on the part of PIAC (maintenance and quality assurance) and a possible inadequacy/lack of oversight by the PCAA.”
The preliminary investigation report suggested that “The PIAC should ensure immediate implementation of the service bulletin in letter and spirit on the entire fleet of ATR aircraft, undertake an audit of the related areas of maintenance practices, ascertain root causes for the said lapse, and adopt appropriate corrective measures to avoid recurrence of such incidents.”
Furthermore, the report also recommended that PIA should evaluate its oversight mechanism for its adequacy to discover lapses and intervene in a proactive manner, ascertain shortfall and undertake necessary improvements.