Bad weather forces Nepal Army to halt search for missing Tara Air planeThe Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal says it has traced the potential location of the aircraft in Khaibang based on an emergency locator transmitter (ELT).
Nepal Army on Sunday evening said it has halted all search efforts for a Tara Air plane, which went missing in northwestern Nepal earlier on Sunday, a few minutes after taking off from the popular tourist destination of Pokhara en route to Jomsom.
Nepal Army spokesperson, Brigadier General Narayan Silwal, in a tweet on Sunday evening, said, “NA has halted all efforts of search and rescue for today due to loss of daylight and adverse weather. The search will be resumed early in the morning tomorrow both from air and ground. Our search and rescue team with HC is on standby at Jomsom.”
Earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal had said it had traced the potential location of the plane in Khaibang in Mustang district.
Deo Chandra Lal Karna, spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, told the Post that based on an emergency locator transmitter (ELT), they have traced the potential area in Khaibang.
The ELT is an emergency beacon used in aircraft to alert rescue authorities and to indicate the location and the identity of an aircraft in distress.
“We have received a note from Bangalore, India, which tracks the ELT,” said Karna.
“But due to some complex weather factors, the rescue teams are finding it difficult to reach the probable site,” he added. “The area is blanketed in dense clouds and it has started to rain too.”
“The ground search, however, is underway,” said Karna.
Locals reported that the plane made two circles in Khaibang.
The 9N-AET Twin Otter carrying 22 people, including three crew members, took off from Pokhara at 9:55am for Jomsom. But it lost contact at 10:07am in the Ghodepani area, according to a statement issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.
The plane was carrying 13 Nepalis, four Indians, and two Germans.
Soon after the aircraft went out of contact, the Nepal Army deployed its personnel in the Lete area for search.
“We have mobilised our search and rescue teams from both ground and aerial operations. We are yet to trace the plane,” Brigadier General told the Post earlier in the day.
An MI-17 chopper was dispatched from Kathmandu to Lete, according to the army.