KARACHI: A senior pilot of Pakistan's national carrier PIA exposed hundreds of lives to danger by operating a long-haul flight without taking adequate rest, compromising air safety and violating aviation laws, according to a media report.
Sadiq Rehman, former Vice President of the Pakistan Air Lines Pilots Association (PALPA), violated aviation laws by not taking the 24-hour mandatory rest before operating a Toronto-bound flight on July 4, Dawn reported. Pakistan International Airline (PIA) spokesperson Mashhood Tajwar conceded that the pilot did not take the mandatory rest before operating the long duration flight on July 4, the report said.
The PIA had scheduled Rehman to arrive in Lahore on July 2 evening, rest on July 3 and then go ahead (after resting for over 36 hours) to operate the flight to Canada, it said. Rehman did not follow the schedule. He stayed in Karachi on July 2 and left for Lahore on July 3 evening along with 30kgs of luggage in two suitcases and then operated the Toronto-bound flight on July 4 morning, without completing the 24-hour mandatory rest.
The sources said that the 24-hour mandatory rest was prescribed by the CAA rules and Air Navigation Order (ANO) before long-haul flights so that the crew could remain fresh during the flight, as an overworked, under-rested and fatigued crew in the cockpit is a sure invitation to a disaster. Rehman travelled from Karachi aboard PK-306, arriving in Lahore at 8.45pm on July 3. This makes his stay in Lahore for around 15 hours before he operated PK-789 on July 4 at 11.35am, Tajwar said.
In May, a PIA pilot has been accused of risking security by allowing a young Chinese woman into the cockpit during a flight from Tokyo to Beijing, days after another pilot was taken off duty for allegedly sleeping on a London-bound PIA flight. In January, the PIA allowed seven passengers to travel standing in the aisle all the way to Saudi Arabia, prompting a probe into the serious breach of security regulations by Pakistan's loss-making national carrier.