LAHORE (Staff Report) – The ShaheenAir pilot Captain Asmat Mahmood has been arrested by police authorities following a probe that said the pilot was drunk and suffering from lack of sleep while flying the plane on November 4.
According to police Asmat has been taken into custody for investigation and could be tried for several charges.
The Boeing 737 with 121 people on board had skidded off the runway soon after landing, about 1,000 feet short from the end into a grassy patch 70 feet west of the runway at Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore.
All passengers and crew on board the NL-142 Karachi to Lahore flight remained unhurt and were evacuated via emergency escape chute, but the aircraft’s landing gear, windows and right wing were damaged in the landing.
A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said investigation into the accident has not yet been completed, however, medical reports have confirmed that the pilot was tired and had consumed alcohol before the flight.
The pilot had consumed more than the permitted amount of blood alcohol and had not rested the required hours before the flight, said the CAA spokesman.
During a recent meeting in Karachi presided by Director-General CAA Amjad Ali Toor, the aviation authority has advised all airlines to ensure their pilots are in optimal condition before flights.
He said that the DG CAA took a serious view of this incident and directed the representatives of the airlines to take all possible measures to ensure passengers’ safety on a priority basis.
The CAA spokesman said that the DG CAA also emphasised that all operators need to be more vigilant to avoid such misconduct among their cockpit and cabin crew to avoid such incidents in the future.