Pak: `Black box decoding can take up to a year`

The Civil Aviation Authority director general ruled out technical fault in the plane.

Islamabad: The black box of the ill-fated Bhoja airliner has been found and would be sent abroad for decoding, which might take “three months to one year”, said Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) director general Nadeem Yusafzai on Saturday.

Yusafzai said there was no technical fault in the plane and it was thoroughly checked before its departure from Karachi.

“Maintenance and performance of the aircraft was checked as per standards. The CCA makes no compromises on it,” the Daily Times quoted Yusafzai as saying.

The flight operation was running smooth, until the tragedy hit, he added.

Yusafzai said it was to be investigated as to what happened when the plane started descending.

He said the weather was bad, but noted that another plane landed safely at the airport five minutes after the crash.

Yusafzai said the plane was locked into the instrument landing system, an approach system that provides precision guidance for aircraft, when it suddenly dropped from 2,900 feet to 2,000 feet. “It just went down, into a dive,” he said, adding, “Then contact was lost and the blip disappeared from the radar.”

“What happened in this period, that has to be investigated. Was there a downdraft, was there an engine failure?” He denied the involvement of “political pressure” in the awarding of the licence to Bhoja Air.

Yusafzai also urged people not to speculate on the cause of the crash before all the evidence has been collected.