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PIA: on a wing and prayer

RAWALPINDI: In an effort to seek divine intervention to keep a flight safe and secure, staff of the Pakistan International Airlines sacrificed a black goat for ‘sadqa’ near an ATR-42 aircraft after it was given clearance for take-off from the Benazir Bhutto International Airport on Sunday.

5857010745ac7Later the plane left for Multan, making it the first ATR-42 aircraft to be pressed into service since the start of shakedown tests on all such aircraft in the wake of an air crash near Havelian on Dec 7.

According to a spokesman for the national flag carrier, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had decided to ground the ATR-42 fleet until all its aircraft had been subjected to the shakedown tests and cleared for flight operations.

The grounding of the ATR fleet had badly affected the PIA’s flights to and from cities and towns like Gwadar, Turbat, Panjgur, Moenjodaro, Zhob, Bahawalpur, D.G. Khan, Chitral and Gilgit.

The people wishing to board flights in these cities and towns had been advised to check status of their flights from the PIA Call Centre, at 111-786-786, before leaving for the airports.

The process for carrying out the shakedown tests of the ATR aircraft is still continuing, according to a source.

The CAA staff and personnel of the PIA’s quality control department are taking part in the process under which each of the aircraft will be examined thoroughly.

According to the PIA spokesman, an aircraft will remain grounded until it is examined properly.

He said that after it was cleared for take-off, an ATR-42 aircraft (PK-681) left Islamabad for Multan at 6.40pm and returned to the capital on its scheduled time of 9.45pm.

Also on Sunday, the airline operated four flights of C-130 aircraft, obtained from the Pakistan Air Force, for Gilgit and Chitral from the Benazir Bhutto International airport.

Published in Dawn December 19th, 2016


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  1. Shahid khan says

    A FIR should be registered against the people doing this on the basis of
    Breaching airport security by moving things to sensitive areas without clearance.
    Having a non serious attitude to accidents
    Hurting the sentiments of the families of the 47 victims of PK 661
    One can easily identify these insensitive people through the photographs with the goat. Will some lawyers please take this up. You will have the backing and prayers of the families of PK 661 as well as the whole country.

  2. Shamsul Haq says

    عجیب بات ہے بے چارے بکرے کی جان بھی پی ائی اے والوں نے لے لی ۔انہیں چاہئے کہ اپنے آپ کو ٹھیک کریں

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