Personal torment

  • May 9, 1983
  • Aircraft AP-AZW; B707-251B
  • Flight: Pakistan 225
  • Sector Karachi-Muscat-Bahrain (KHI-MCT-BAH)
  • Tmings 1635-1815; 1905-2030.
  • All times are Zulu (UTC).
  • Cockpit crew: First Officer Naeem Kazi; Flight Engineer Saeed Memon 

After landing and exiting runway 30 (runway direction 301 degrees magnetic) at BAH we were given taxi instructions and allotted a parking bay. This was amended while taxiing and another bay was given.

In the Azimuth Guidance Nose in Parking System (AGNIS) there are two sets of lights to watch, one which is red and green and allows/disallows movement into the bay and the other set which guides you into the bay on the centre line and allows stoppage as the eye aligns with aircraft symbol on the board on your left wall.

According to the ATC controller, I taxied into the bay while the light was red meaning the air jetty was not set up properly to receive the aircraft. As we creeped forward and as I was waiting for the 707 symbol to align on the board, the upper surface of the wing made contact with the building structure causing a 2 x 2 inch tear in the aircraft upper skin.

ATC came on the radio to let me know that the light was red when I came into the bay and this was acknowledged by our call sign (Pakistan two two five). I may be wrong but I think I came in on a green light and nobody else in the cockpit noticed anything unusual.

Passengers were deplaned, those who were getting off here disembarked and those continuing on to Karachi given a different carrier or hotel.

The PIA engineers told me that they could do the job with high speed tape that night but it would be risky. The flight night stopped and Capt Pervaiz Saeed, Chief Pilot B707 was sent in from Karachi to investigate the next day.

You can imagine how I felt that night in the hotel. The Director Flight Operations, Capt. S.S. Akbar was very understanding and let me off tasking my crew for letting the captain fly alone (It was the first flight of First Officer Naeem Qazi, newly on the 707, to the Gulf Area and Flight Engineer Saeed Memon was officially not a third pilot). It took some days to get back to flying as a pilot strike intervened. It was on the initiative of Crew Scheduling Officer Shafiq that the clearance for me to fly was expedited because he approached the Director directly, saying he needed me immediately.

After this incident while parking at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport on one occasion: the open parking bay was near the railing denoting the edge and the marshaller while guiding with his flags wanted me to turn closer, meaning swing the wing a little more , which I refused. He came into the cockpit and gave a couple of leaflets explaining the procedure.  He was right but in case I had touched anything the responsibility would have been mine.

It was the first flight of First Officer Naeem Qazi to the Gulf Area and Flight Engineer Saeed Memon was officially not a third pilot.

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