Accident Airbus A300B4-203 AP-BCP, Monday 28 September 1992
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Date:Monday 28 September 1992
Type:Silhouette image of generic A30B model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Airbus A300B4-203
Owner/operator:Pakistan International Airlines - PIA
Registration: AP-BCP
MSN: 025
Year of manufacture:1976
Total airframe hrs:39045 hours
Cycles:19172 flights
Engine model:General Electric CF6-50C2
Fatalities:Fatalities: 167 / Occupants: 167
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:18 km S of Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport (KTM) -   Nepal
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Karachi International Airport (KHI/OPKC)
Destination airport:Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport (KTM/VNKT)
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
PIA Flight 268 departed Karachi, Pakistan at 11:13 for a scheduled passenger flight to Kathmandu, Nepal. The en route portion of the flight was uneventful and the aircraft was cleared for a Sierra approach to Kathmandu's runway 02. The flight was instructed to maintain 11500 feet and report at 16 DME (16 miles from the VOR/DME beacon, which is located 0,6 nm short of the runway). The Kathmandu approach is very difficult, since the airport is located in an oval-shaped valley surrounded by mountains as high as 9665 feet. Runway elevation is 4313 feet amsl. The next approach fixes for PK268 were at 13 DME (at 10500 feet), 10 DME (at 9500 feet) and 8 DME (at 8200 feet). A few seconds after reporting 10 DME, the aircraft descended through 8200 feet, which was the altitude for 8 DME. The Airbus impacted a steep cloud-covered hillside at approx. 7300 feet amsl at 9,16 DME.

"The balance of evidence suggests that the primary cause of the accident was that one or both pilots consistently failed to follow the approach procedure and inadvertently adopted a profile which, at each DME fix, was one altitude step ahead and below the correct procedure. Why and how that happened could not be determined with certainty because there was no record of the crew's conversation on the flight deck.
Contributory causal factors were thought to be the inevitable complexity of the approach and the associated approach chart."


ICAO Circular 296-AN/170 (p.267-326)
ICAO Adrep Summary 2/94 (#1)


  • worst accident in 1992
  • 3rd worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 2nd worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



photo (c) Coolgenx1; near Kathmandu; 30 September 1992; (CC:by)

photo (c) Aviation Safety Network; near Kathmandu; 30 September 1992

photo (c) Aviation Safety Network; near Kathmandu; 30 September 1992

photo (c) Frank Schaefer; Paris-Orly Airport (ORY); 1991

Revision history:


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