ASN Aircraft accident Airbus A321-231 AP-BJB Islamabad-Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Wednesday 28 July 2010
Type:Silhouette image of generic A321 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A321-231
Registration: AP-BJB
MSN: 1218
First flight: 2000-04-14 (10 years 4 months)
Total airframe hrs:34018
Engines: 2 IAE V2533-A5
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 146 / Occupants: 146
Total:Fatalities: 152 / Occupants: 152
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:15 km (9.4 mls) NNW of Islamabad-Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB) (   Pakistan)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Karachi-Jinnah International Airport (KHI/OPKC), Pakistan
Destination airport:Islamabad-Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB/OPRN), Pakistan
An Airbus passenger plane was destroyed when it crashed in the Margalla Hills near Islamabad-Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB), Pakistan. All six crew members and 146 passengers on board were killed. Flight 202 had departed Karachi International Airport (KHI) on a domestic service to Islamabad.
Weather at Islamabad was poor with deteriorating visibility. A PIA flight had landed on the third attempt to land and a flight from China had returned. ABQ202 was cleared for a runway 12 Circling Approach procedure. During the approach the captain descended below Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) (i.e. 2,300 ft instead of maintaining 2,510 ft), losing visual contact with the airfield. The captain then decided to fly a non-standard self-created PBD (Place Bearing Distance, RNAV waypoint)-based approach, thus transgressing out of the protected airspace by an distance of 4.3 NM into the Margalla Hills area.
The captain did not take appropriate action following calls from the first officer. He also did not respond to 21 EGPWS warnings related to approaching rising terrain and pull up.
The airplane flew into the side of a mountain. The first officer remained a passive bystander in the cockpit and did not participate as an effective team member failing to supplement and compliment or to correct the errors of his captain assertively due to the captain’s behaviour in the flight. The investigation report said that during initial climb, the captain tested the knowledge of the first officer and used harsh words and a snobbish tone, contrary to the company procedure/norms. The question/answer sessions, lecturing and advices by the captain continued with intervals for about one hour after takeoff. After the intermittent humiliating sessions, the FO generally remained quiet, suffered from underconfidence, became submissive and subsequently did not challenge the captain for any of his errors, breaches and violations.

Probable Cause:

FINALIZATION: "Air blue crash has been finalized as a case of Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT), in which aircrew failed to display superior judgment and professional skills in a self created unsafe environment. In their pursuit to land in inclement weather, they committed serious violations of procedures and breaches of flying discipline, which put the aircraft in an unsafe condition over dangerous terrain at low altitude."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: CAA Pakistan
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 5 months
Download report: Final report

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» SKYbrary 
» Dawn news

METAR Weather report:
03:00 UTC / 08:00 local time:
OPRN 280300Z 05016KT 2000 RA FEW015ST SCT040 BKN100 FEW030TCU 24/23 1006.5=
Wind 050 degrees at 16 knots; 2000m visibility; rain; few clouds at 1,500 ft, few clouds at 3,000 ft with Towering CB, scattered clouds at 4,000 ft, broken clouds at 10,000 ft.; Temperature 24°C, dew point 23°C

04:00 UTC / 09:00 local time:
OPRN 280400Z 05016KT 3500 SCT010 SCT030 BKN100 FEW030TCU 29/24 1006.7=
Wind 050 degrees at 16 knots; 3500m visibility; scattered clouds at 1,000 ft and 3,000 ft, few clouds at 3,000 ft with Towering CB, broken clouds at 10,000 ft.; Temperature 29°C, dew point 24°C

05:00 UTC / 10:00 local time:
OPRN 280500Z 09018KT 3500 RA SCT010 SCT030 OVC100 FEW030 25/24 Q1006.9=
Wind 090 degrees at 18 knots; 3500m visibility; rain; scattered clouds at 1,000 ft and 3,000 ft, overcast at 10,000 ft.; Temperature 25°C, dew point 24°C


photo of Airbus-A321-231-AP-BJB
accident date: 28-07-2010
type: Airbus A321-231
registration: AP-BJB
photo of Airbus-A321-231-AP-BJB
accident date: 28-07-2010
type: Airbus A321-231
registration: AP-BJB
photo of Airbus-A321-231-D-ALAN
accident date: 28-07-2010
type: Airbus A321-231
registration: D-ALAN

Video, social media

Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
14 APR 2000 D-AVZA Airbus first flight
28 APR 2000 D-ALAN Aero Lloyd delivered
26 MAR 2004 D-ARFA Aero Flight registered
18 JAN 2006 AP-BJB Airblue registered

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Karachi-Jinnah International Airport to Islamabad-Benazir Bhutto International Airport as the crow flies is 1119 km (700 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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