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Plane Crash in Kathmandu

Nepal Crash



Ram Mani Thapaliya - Nepal Correspondent

On the day of 28th September 2012, while the sun rises in the east then the scarlet tints the valley ranges in the Kathmandu around daybreak at 6:19 am, an unusual airliner sound hears in the airport closet community of Manohara River and adjoining villages, a aircraft seems burst into the flames and within a minute plummets into the river bank on the edge of Manohara River in Koteshwor village near Jadibutti, explode into a huge fireball, just approximately 500 meter from the runway and 30 meter close to the houses local people try to rescue but dare not get into the aircraft, the rescue team reaches a bit delays about 15 minutes, 3 crew and 16 passengers burns inside the aircraft  in front of crowd of people. It was a Sita Air Dornier 228;-200; 9N-AHA; Flight 601, which was headed to the Lukla, the base camp of the world’s tallest Mount Everest, crashes within two minutes after the take-off, deceased 7 Nepali (including crew), 7 British, 4 Chinese and 1 American citizen.  British Prime Minister David Cameron called the crash "a horrific incident" and said: "I feel for the families concerned."

Pushpa Rai, a local of Manohara river side resident said “I saw that airplane approaching to my house nearby on unbalancing mode, seems burst into the flames, fell down on the ground as like as safe landing position but with the horrific sound, in front of me just about 30 meter far, I heard the dreadful crying of the passengers, the plane began to burn with yellow flame and black smoke in front of me but I couldn’t be helped to save the life of the passengers”.

The Civil Aviation Office of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) official has reported the bird hitting by a Black Eagle (wingspan up to 70 inches/178cm, weight up to 4 lbs/1.8kg)’.  In a press conference organized to brief journalists on the crash that killed 19 people on board, TIA General Manager Ratish Chandra Lal Suman confirmed that pilot Bijaya Tandukar had informed the air traffic control that the plane hit the bird before it crashed. TIA Airport Operation Director Deo Chandra Lal Karn said “authentic report comes after the investigation of the jury whether it is bird strike or other technicalities”. The government has formed a committee to investigate the mystery of the crash. The committee headed by former secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation (MOTCA) Nagendra Prasad Ghimire and he has given three-month deadline to present its findings. Under Secretary of the MOTCA Suresh Acharya said the pilot's failure to maintain the required radius is a likely cause of the accident, adding the plane turned too sharply because it had not gained enough altitude. He said nothing incidents when one engine of a twin-engine aircraft has failed and the plane still is able to land safely, just because its engine was hit by a bird. The preliminary finding of the Civil Aviation Authority notices unusual maneuvering during the takeoff and the pilot communicated to air traffic control the aircraft was hit by a bird," said Acharya. The Nepal Police said the victims were piled up at the cockpit end of the wreckage, indicating they had either failed to fasten their safety belts or took them off before hitting the ground. Emergency services needed about 40 minutes to extinguish the fire.

In 2001, 6 bird strike incidents were recorded at TIA, since Dr. Richard A. Dolbeer studied at TIA and he had given 7 points recommendation to the concerned line agencies. Most of his recommendations have been adopted by the TIA, one major recommendation ‘Garbage, Sewage and Food Waste Control’ has not been addressed yet properly, the Government of Nepal has Bagmati Action plan to this action, however seems motionless.  

It was the sixth fatal crash in Nepal in two years. European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has asked the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to submit an action plan and progress report, outlining its commitments to ensure safety, among other aviation matters, by November 19. In a letter sent to the Nepal Government and CAAN, EASA said it might summon CAAN for necessary clarification at its headquarters in Cologne, Germany, if the latter failed to submit the sought details. If CAAN fails to satisfy EASA, Nepal’s aviation industry could suffer a blacklisting.

The National Transport and Safety Board (NTSB) United States has launched a major investigation of the engine of the mysterious crashed Sita Air Dornier 228;-200; 9N-AHA; Flight 601.

I would like to thank to all Journalist and Photographer of Printing and Electronic Medias in Nepal, e-bulletin, newsletter and Social Media worldwide, WBA, Observation   Team of UK, MOTCA/CAAN/TIA, Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Fire Brigadier, Volunteers, Public Opinion and local people. My love and prayers be with entire victim families.


Location of crash.

Black Kite

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