Crashed PIA flight 'black boxes' to be examined in France

Volunteers look for survivors of a plane that crashed in a residential area of Karachi, Pakistan, May 22, 2020. Work on the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder from a Pakistan International Airlines flight that crashed in Karachi will begin on June 2, French air safety investigators said.

Work on the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder from a Pakistan International Airlines flight that crashed in Karachi will begin on June 2, French air safety investigators said Saturday on Twitter.

The recorders -- commonly known as "black boxes" -- were recovered after the flight, PIA 8303, crashed in a dense residential area adjacent to Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on May 22, killing all but two of the 99 people on board.

The French air safety investigation authority for civil aviation, BEA, is the accredited representative for the Airbus 320 aircraft involved in the crash.

A French team arrived in Karachi on May 26, according to BEA. The French authority said Thursday it had received a request from Pakistan to handle repair and data download operations for the recorders at a later date.

"The mission on site is about to be completed," Saturday's tweet read, adding that "Pakistan's AAIB team will then fly to France."

On Friday, Pakistan's Minister for Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, said the initial report of the crash would be made public on June 22.

Khan said the Ministry had briefed Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has directed that all reports be made public.

The pilot on board told air traffic control in Karachi that he had lost engines before the plane crashed.

"We are proceeding direct, we have lost engines," the pilot can be heard saying about the plane's approach, in an audio recording of aircraft communications obtained by CNN from a Pakistani government source.

A few seconds later the pilot can be heard giving several mayday calls, followed by a response from air traffic control saying both runways are clear to land. The audio then cuts off.

The flight from Lahore was a special service to help passengers get home for the Eid holidays after the coronavirus lockdown was eased.

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