Two pilots killed in second plane crash in three daysTwo pilots were killed when a small passenger plane belonging to Air Kasthmandap crash landed in Chilkhaya in Kalikot district on Friday afternoon. All nine passengers survived. They have sustained minor injuries. The plane was en route from Nepalgunj to Jumla.
SANGAM PRASAIN In Kathmandu & TULARAM PANDEY In Kalikot
Two pilots were killed when a small passenger plane belonging to Air Kasthmandap crash landed in Chilkhaya in Kalikot district on Friday afternoon. All nine passengers survived. They have sustained minor injuries. The plane was en route from Nepalgunj to Jumla.
This is the second air accident in three days.
On Wednesday, a Jomsom-bound Tara Air Twin Otter turboprop plane crashed into a mountainside in Solighopte of Dana VDC in Myagdi district, killing all 23 on board.
The 9N-AJB Air Kasthmandap’s chartered flight had taken off from Nepalgunj at 12:16pm.
The deceased crew were identified as Captain Dinesh Neupane, who died on the spot, and Co-pilot Santosh Rana, who died an hour later.
Initial findings show that the 10-seater single-engine aircraft had developed some technical problem and the pilots had tried to land the plane on a field. “It crashed during an emergency landing,” said Sanjiv Gautam, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal. “The technical glitches are yet to be ascertained.”
The right wheel of the aircraft had hit a hard object (wood logs) on the ground when it landed at a high speed, Gautam said based on reports from the field. “Due to the powerful impact, the aircraft ricocheted, its nose ploughed into the field and the cockpit blew up,” he added. “Otherwise, it would have been a successful emergency landing.”
According to Gautam, all single-engine aircraft have been grounded for detailed inspection to prevent further accident. The authorities concerned were informed about the crash at 1:30pm, nearly an hour after the aircraft lost its contact with air traffic controller in Nepalgunj. “Had the rescue operation been swift, Co-pilot Rana could have been saved,” said Chandra BK, a local at the crash site. “Rana who had lost consciousness due to the impact died after an hour. He repeatedly called for saving his life.”
Frantic passengers and locals, with no proper equipment to cut the straps, were left with no option than to leave Neupane in the cockpit.
A police squad led by ASI Dan Bahadur Bom had reached the area after an hour and a Shree Airlines helicopter reached after two hours, said DSP Kisan Singh Budal. The bodies of crew and injured passengers were airlifted to Nepalgunj Medical College. It was the third flight of the crew after flying to Simikot twice in the morning.
Probe panel formed
KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation on Friday formed a four-member committee to investigate into Air Kasthamandap plane crash. Former Secretary of the Tourism Ministry Yagya Prasad Gautam has been named the chairman of the committee. Goma Air Engineer Rajesh Kumar Singh and Nepal Army Colonel Rabindra Kumar Basnet are the members of the committee. Hari Bahadur Khadka, under-secretary at the ministry, has been appointed member-secretary. The committee has been given 60 days to submit its report. (PR)
‘Crew died to save others’
KATHMANDU: Nine passengers on board the Air Kasthamandap flight survived the crash. Pilots, locals and the survivors said the flying crew sacrificed their lives to save the passengers. “I appreciate their flying ability,” said Captain Madan KC of Shree Airlines. It is often difficult to make an emergency landing when aircraft is cruising above 11,000 feet. “My assumption is as soon as the crew realized something was wrong with their aircraft, they started to search for an appropriate location to land,” he said. (PR)