A team of Pakistani experts has returned from France with evidence extracted from the cockpit voice and flight data recorders of the PIA plane that crashed in a densely populated area last month in Karachi, officials said Monday.
The French Bureau of Investigation and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) said last Friday that the download and decoding of the black box of the Airbus A-320 have been completed.
Yannick Malinge, Airbus’ head of product safety, also informed Pakistani authorities that flight data and cockpit voice recorders had been analyzed and listened to, officials said. The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crashed minutes before landing on May 22, killing 97 of the 99 people on board. Ninety-seven passengers died in the accident. Eleven people on the ground were injured. A 13-year-old girl who was injured on the ground died last week, bringing the death toll in the accident to 98.
Following the accident, Pakistan set up a two-member probe team led by Air Commodore Usman Ghani. The team was in France to obtain the decoded data of the French investigators.
According to AIP officials, the team was back in Karachi with vital data, which it will use to finalize preliminary results.
The government has already announced that it will table the report in Parliament and share the findings with the public on June 22.
An 11-member expert team from an Airbus plant in the French city of De Toulouse was in Pakistan after the incident to conduct an independent investigation into the crash involving his plane.
The team of experts left last week for the French city of Le Bourget, taking with them the flight data recorder (FDR) and the cockpit voice recorder (CVR), the two components of the PK-8303 black box.
Pakistani experts accompanied the French investigators and the devices were decoded in their presence.
The FDR records the time, altitude, speed, heading and attitude of the aircraft and other in-flight characteristics. The CVR is a device used to record the audio environment in the cockpit for accidents and incident investigation.
It records and stores audio signals from microphones and headphones from pilots’ helmets and a cockpit area microphone.
On 2 June, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in a letter to the national carrier stated that the pilot of the crashed aircraft had not followed the instructions of the air traffic controller (ATC).
The letter, which was published in the Pakistani media, reportedly angered the government, which said the information should be provided to the commission of inquiry already set up to investigate the crash.