Pakistan International Airlines’ Boeing 777 Returns To Karachi After Engine Failure

On Saturday, December 2nd, Medina-bound Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) B777 (PK-743) carrying 250 passengers experienced an engine flameout while ascending, and as a result, the crew diverted to the departure airport. No injuries were reported.

PK-743 Engine Failure

PIA PK-743 was scheduled to fly from Jinnah International Airport, Karachi (KHI), to Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport, Medina (MED), Saudi Arabia. Per the given schedule, the aircraft was ready for its 4-hour flight to Medina. At 05:00 (local time), the PK-743 took the skies. Shortly after it started to climb, the cockpit heard an engine failure sound. The second engine then made a loud bang, and the engine started to ignite and burst into flames.

Pakistan international airlines B777-200LR
PIA B777-200 ready for taxi. © Anna Zvereva – Flickr

Pilots immediately reacted, releasing the fire extinguisher system and switching off the second engine. The pilots informed the air traffic controllers about the situation and requested an emergency landing. The aircraft halted the climb and maintained 3000ft until the ATC permitted them to land. The aircraft descended to Karachi airport and landed on runway 25L after approximately 15 minutes in the air.

The aircraft involved was an 18-year-old B777-200 variant with a registration number AP-BMH. After being used by Vietnam Airlines in 2005, PIA purchased the aircraft in December 2015. AP-BMH was powered by GE90, one of the three primary engine types available for the Boeing 777 variant.

Pakistan International Airlines’ Recent Incident

This isn’t the only incident for the airline in recent times. On 22 May 2020, a PIA (PK303) flight from Lahore to Karachi crashed into a densely populated area a few miles before the runway during their second attempt at landing. Due to a landing gear malfunction, the A320 variant aircraft in problem was forced to perform a second landing. The aircraft was carrying ninety-nine people, of which eight were crew members. Ninety-seven of them onboard were killed. Luckily two of the passengers survived with injuries. On the ground, eight people were killed.

PIA A320ceo
Pakistan International Airlines Airbus 320ceo. © Anna Zvereva – Flickr

The airline recently released an updated air crash investigation about PK303. one of the worst accidents in the aviation industry. Considering all the aspects of the crash, the investigation team has come up with a conclusion. Apart from the challenges, PIA is the only airline in the country to operate direct flights to the US from Lahore.  The airline uses its Boeing 777-240LR variants for the US sector.

Have you flown with PIA? What are your thoughts on this incident? Please let us know in the comments below.

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Hissam Sadik
Hissam Sadik
Commercial Aviation enthusiast based in Dubai, UAE. Studying bachelor's degree in aviation management and have completed a number of research studies in aviation. Love watching aviation documentaries, drawing and playing football.
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