Accident description
Last updated: 30 September 2014
Status:Final
Date:Monday 28 September 1992
Time:14:30
Type:Airbus A300B4-203
Operator:Pakistan International Airlines - PIA
Registration: AP-BCP
C/n / msn: 025
First flight: 1976-03-23 (16 years 6 months)
Total airframe hrs:39045
Cycles:19172
Engines: 2 General Electric CF6-50C2
Crew:Fatalities: 19 / Occupants: 19
Passengers:Fatalities: 148 / Occupants: 148
Total:Fatalities: 167 / Occupants: 167
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:18 km (11.3 mls) S of Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport (KTM) (   Nepal) show on map
Crash site elevation: 2225 m (7300 feet) amsl
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Karachi International Airport (KHI/OPKC), Pakistan
Destination airport:Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport (KTM/VNKT), Nepal
Flightnumber: 268
Narrative:
PIA Flight 268 departed Karachi (KHI) at 11:13 for a flight to Kathmandu (KTM). The en route portion of the flight was uneventful and the aircraft was cleared for a Sierra approach to Kathmandu runway 02. The crew were instructed to maintain 11500 feet and report at 16DME (16 miles from the VOR/DME beacon, which is located 0,6 nm short of the runway). The Kathmandu approach is very difficult, since the airport is located in an oval-shaped valley surrounded by mountains as high as 9665 feet. Runway elevation is 4313 feet amsl. The next approach fixes for PIA268 were at 13 DME (at 10500 feet), 10 DME (at 9500 feet) and 8 DME (at 8200 feet). A few seconds after reporting 10 DME, the aircraft was descending through 8200 feet- which was the altitude for 8 DME. The Airbus crashed into a steep cloud-covered hillside at approx. 7300 feet amsl., at 9,16 DME.

Cause:
"The balance of evidence suggests that the primary cause of the accident was that one or both pilots consistently failed to follow the approach procedure and inadvertently adopted a profile which, at each DME fix, was one altitude step ahead and below the correct procedure. Why and how that happened could not be determined with certainty because there was no record of the crew's conversation on the flight deck.
Contributory causal factors were thought to be the inevitable complexity of the approach and the associated approach chart."

Classification:

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» Flight International 31.3-6.4.1993 (4)
» Air Safety Week 6.2.1995 (p. 5)
» Air Safety Week 5.10.92 (3/4)
» Asia Pacific Air Safety Dec. 1992 (10-12)
» Aviation Week & Space Technology 5.10.92 (36)
» Flight International 4-10.11.1992 (8)
» ICAO Adrep Summary 2/94 (#1)


Follow-up / safety actions

Nepal issued 21 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations

Photos

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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Karachi International Airport to Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport as the crow flies is 1827 km (1142 miles).

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Airbus A300

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  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 6th worst accident (currently)
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