Bad weather hampers search for missing Tara Air planeThe Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal said it has traced the potential location of the aircraft in Khaibang based on an emergency locator transmitter (ELT).
Bad weather and blankets of clouds have made efforts difficult to trace the potential location of the 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.
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.”
He said that the Nepal Army has stopped aerial search operations owing to adverse weather.
A chopper of Kailash Air has been doing aerial searches but due to the clouds, it has not been able to land in the nearby areas.
“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.
The Nepal Army also has deployed its personnel in the Lete area.
“We have mobilised our search and rescue teams from both ground and aerial operations. We are yet to trace the plane,” Brigadier General Narayan Silwal, the Nepal Army spokesperson, told the Post.
An MI-17 chopper was dispatched from Kathmandu to Lete, according to the army.
This is a developing story.