The crash brought into focus the dismal state of affairs of Pakistan International Airlines, the national carrier, and after the crash, Prime Minister Imran Khan demanded an immediate inquiry.
The airline has experienced huge financial losses in recent decades. Corruption, nepotism, overstaffing, lack of quality control and favoritism in making appointments due to political pressures have plagued the airline, and attempts by successive governments to turn it into a profit-making entity have failed.
Adding to these troubles is the airline’s history of air disasters. The deadliest was in 2010, when an Airbus flying from Karachi crashed into a hill, killing all 152 onboard. In 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames after one of its two turboprop engines failed, killing 48 people.
The aviation minister presented an alarming statistic about Pakistani aviation, saying that 40 percent of the pilots in the country were flying with fake licenses.
According to a preliminary government report on the May 22 crash, air traffic controllers warned the pilots about the plane’s “excessive height” as it prepared to land, “but landing approach was not discontinued.”
Ten nautical miles from the runway, when the plane should have been at 2,500 feet altitude, it was at 7,200, Mr. Khan said.
The landing gear was not down at the time of the attempted landing, the report said.
“The aircraft touched the runway surface on its engines,” it said. “Flight crew applied reverse engine power and initiated a braking action. Both engines scrubbed the runway at various locations, causing damage to both of them.”