lahore -

Society of Aircraft Engineers Pakistan (SAEP) President Shoukat Jamshed has termed the technical advice of Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (PALPA) President Captain Sohail Baloch on aircraft maintenance baseless. He reacted upon the statement of Baloch wherein he said that aerodynamic flaws exist in many PIA planes, which speak volumes about its poor maintenance.

Shoukat said that though his presentation was good as far as operating procedures were concerned but the technical advice regarding aircraft maintenance was not based on reality. He said that all the possible efforts are taken into consideration by engineering department without compromising the safety and airworthiness of aircraft.

“Scheduled engine wash is carried out as per the recommendations of the manufacturer and is part of routine maintenance”. Shoukat maintained.

Further, flight pack carried on board contains those items which are required to meet emergency, unscheduled en-route landing due to technical reasons related to safety of aircraft, these no-go items are required in case of emergency at any station. It is also not viable to place these components at all stations all over the world just to meet unscheduled maintenance, additionally it would cost millions of dollars. If the flight pack is removed from aircraft then it will not only cause inconvenience to passengers but also cost millions of rupees to airline due to any night stop particularly at any foreign station.

The transit time required for technical handling could not be reduced as it is already on minimal side and is necessary to perform different tasks on aircraft to ensure safety and airworthiness after each and every flight it also includes time required for refueling and cleaning of aircraft cabin. The existing transit time is calculated according to the standards set by ICAO. He said that PIA engineering is maintaining a fleet of aircraft with an average age of 15-20 years, we have old fleet of B-747 and we are successfully maintaining these aircrafts, we change components from one aircraft to another under cannibalization process which speaks of acute shortage of spares, we always perform maintenance as per schedule and as per aircraft maintenance manual and the safety is never compromised while carrying out maintenance of aircraft.

The perception about improper maintenance of aircraft is based upon assumptions. In the recent past, two aircraft have been declared unserviceable as damaged during landing. Baloch’s statement regarding aerodynamic flaws is baseless as minor aerodynamics of aircraft is changed due to structural fatigue and cyclic loads. The phenomenon is common and does not hamper the safety of aircraft.