While clarifying a news item regarding ill-fated flight PK-661 en route to Islamabad from Chitral which had crashed near Havelian, PIA Public Affairs General Manager and Spokesperson Muhammad Mashhood Tajwar on Friday said there is no doubt that it was a national tragedy on December 7, 2016 in which 47 precious lives were lost. PIA shared its sympathies and condolence with all grieved relatives and acquaintances of the Shuhdaas, he added.
‘Though, the report on accident to be compiled by the Safety Investigation Board is still awaited which will determine the real cause of accident but PIA assures its valued passengers that PIA always considers safety as its first and foremost priority. It is not correct to say that the aircraft are not checked prior to flying. All aircraft are checked thoroughly by the Quality Assurance Department before every take-off and also after every landing as well. After the Havelian incident, all ATR aircrafts were grounded and thorough inspections jointly by CAA and PIA were carried out on each aircraft. All the aircrafts resumed flying after clearance and these were found airworthy but the whole process took more than a fortnight’, he said.
Nevertheless, their findings are yet to be completed. Though it will not be prudent to offer any comment at this stage but the aircraft in question was definitely fit for flying. The allegation that after two days of accident another pilot had refused to fly the faulty aircraft which though not correct but it proved that non airworthy aircraft are never flown by PIA.
‘Once again we assure the people of Pakistan that PIA never compromises on safety issues and always keeps the safety of passengers as the top priority. PIA’s all aircrafts are safe to fly. On December 7, 2017 to commemorate the Havelian crash accident, a condolence service was held at all the PIA offices throughout the network and Fateha Khawani for the departed souls were offered, he added.