An Unanswered Call: The crash of Airblue flight 202

A helicopter hovers over the wreckage of Airblue flight 202 after it collided with the Margalla Hills outside Islamabad. (Dunya News)
AP-BJB, the Airbus A321 involved in the accident. (Richard Vandervord)
Route of Airblue flight 202. (Google)
The procedure for a circling approach to runway 12 at Benazir Bhutto International Airport. (Google)
Comparison of the NAV track created by Captain Chaudhry vs. the correct procedure. (Google)
Progress of flight 202. (Google)
Progress of flight flight 202. (Google)
Progress of flight 202. (Google)
Location of the heading knob (red). Note the heading window just above it; this would have displayed the captain’s selected heading. Just to the right of that is a light (labeled “LAT”) which illuminates when the lateral mode is managed (NAV), one of many separate indicators of the current FMS mode. (CAA)
Progress of flight 202, zoomed in version. (Google)
My sketch of the moment of impact with the mountainside. (Own work)
A helicopter circles the smoking wreckage of flight 202. (Dunya News)
Emergency crews work at the still-smoldering crash site. (NPR)
View of the precipitous crash site from below. (NDTV)
Fires burn at the crash site. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Workers cluster near the wreckage of the airplane’s tail, the only part that was even remotely recognizable. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Another view of the helicopter circling the crash site. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Aftermath of the crash of Pakistan International Airlines flight 8303. (The Indian Express)
Emergency crews examine an unidentified piece of scorched wreckage from Airblue flight 202. (Anjum Naveed/AP)



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Admiral Cloudberg

Admiral Cloudberg

Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at