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PIA pilot ‘violates’ safety rules

KARACHI (INP): A senior and influential pilot of the Pakis­tan International Airlines has allegedly violated aviation laws by compromising air safety, and exposed hundreds of lives to danger while operating a Toronto-bound flight on July 4, it is reliably learnt.

According to reports, Sadiq Rehman, who formerly held the post of vice president of the Pakistan Air Lines Pilots Associa­tion (Palpa), had not taken the 24-hour mandatory rest in Lahore before operating the transatlantic flight from there.

PIA spokesperson Mashhood Tajwar conceded that the pilot did not take the mandatory rest before operating the long duration flight on July 4. The sources said that the PIA had scheduled Mr 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.

Mr 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.

Mr Tajwar told a TV channel that pilot 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.

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