Osama's kin killed by pilot who suffered from 'mental overload', says UK sleuths

London: The Jordanian pilot who crashed a private jet flying Osama bin Laden's relatives to the UK last year was suffering from a "mental overload", British
investigators said on Thursday in a report on the crash that killed all four on board.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the Jordanian pilot landed too far down the runway after taking a steep descent to avoid a microlight at Blackbushe Airport in Surrey, southeast England, on 31 July 2015.

 Osamas kin killed by pilot who suffered from mental overload, says UK sleuths

Representational image. AP

Slain al-Qaeda chief bin Laden's half-sister, Sana Mohammed bin Laden, 53, his stepmother, Raja Bashir Hashim, 75, and brother-in-law, Zuhair Hashim, 56, were killed in the crash, along with 58-year-old pilot Mazen Al-Aqeel Da'jah Salem.

"It is possible that in these circumstances the pilot... fixated on his initial strategy – landing – and lacked the mental capacity to recognise that the approach had become unstable and had to be discontinued," the AAIB report found.

Investigators found that the pilot's "mental capacity could have become saturated" after he was given 66 audio warnings, instructions and messages during the three minutes and 32 seconds before he reached the start of the runway.

The Saudi-registered Phenom 300 jet smashed into an earth bank at the end of the runway at Blackbushe airport before becoming airborne again and colliding with several parked cars.

The occupants survived the impacts but died from the effects of a fire, which began after the wing separated from the fuselage.

The AAIB report found that the pilot's ability to adapt and take on new information as he was landing was impeded due to a "very high workload situation".

No technical defects were discovered with the aircraft, the pilot was not found to have any substances in his body that would have reduced his performance and the weather was good, the AAIB noted.

Al-Qaeda leader Bin Laden, who claimed responsibility for the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US, and was killed in Pakistan in 2011, is believed to have had more than 50 brothers and sisters and many stepmothers.

Updated Date: Dec 08, 2016 20:00:43 IST