Pakistan International Airlines flight PK 8303, carrying 91 passengers and seven crew members, has crashed into a crowded neighbourhood during its approach to Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan on 22 May 2020.

The flight crashed into the crowded Model Colony a couple of miles from Jinnah International Airport.

The Final Conversation with Air Traffic Control

According to a recording purported to be the ATC of the flight published online, the crew first made contact with Karachi Tower at 2.32pm. For reasons that are unclear, the pilots failed on their first approach, and had to go around a second time at 2.35pm.

At 2.36pm, Karachi Tower informed the pilots that they were “dumping altitude” and that they had dropped to 2000 ft.

Two minutes later, the tower again warned the flight that they were down to 1800 foot. The pilot or copilot responds, “we are now maintai[ning]… trying to maintain, sir.”

Karachi Tower then announces that the flight appeared to be turning to the left, in other words, off-course. The flight crew responded,

“Sir, we’ll be proceeding directly. We have lost both engines.”

At 2.40pm, the last words from the flight were “Sir, mayday, mayday, mayday. Pakistan 8303.”

As of 9.54pm, at least two people were known to have survived the flight, one of whom is believed to be Zafar Masood, the head of the Bank of Punjab. The passengers are believed to all have been citizens of Pakistan with the exception of a solitary American traveller.

The Scene of the Crash

It is unclear how many casualties there were on the ground, although the area into which the jet crashed was heavily-populated.

Another tweet shows a pass by a Pakistani military helicopter over the scene of the crash.

One week previously, on 15 May 2020, the Government of Pakistan reauthorised passenger flight operations on a handful of domestic routes between Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta Airports.

Support for Victims’ Families

PIA’s emergency response center can be accessed at the following phone numbers for updates: 0092-21-99043833, 99242284 and 0092-21-990443766.


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