Monday, 12 March 2018

Crash in Kathmandu kills 50 people

Sadly another story is developing about another aircraft accident. Flying often on business it is always in the back of my mind, once the last cabin door is closed our lives are in the hands of the two people up the front.

This aircraft accident is from Kathmandu where a US-Bangla Airlines flight crashed while approaching to land at Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport, Nepal.
The aircraft departed Dhaka-Shahjalal International Airport (DAC/VGHS), Bangladesh at 12:52 local time bound for Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport (KTM/VNKT) Nepal, with 67 passengers and 4 crew members on board. The flight climbed to a cruising altitude of FL240 and proceeded towards Kathmandu. At the time of arrival near Kathmandu a thunderstorm was passing the airport with clouds passing at 2500ft.  The aircraft was cleared for an approach to runway 02. Apparently the approach was aborted and the flight crew radioed that they were performing a right hand orbit. Initially the air traffic controller replied that they could not land in the opposite direction (runway 20) because other traffic on final. The controller requested approaching traffic to hold and asked flight 211 if they wanted to land on runway 02 or 20. The flight crew replied: "we like to land on two-zero". The flight was then cleared to land on runway 20 with wind reported at 260 degrees, 6 knots. Initially the flight crew did not have the runway in sight, but the flight then radioed: "Affirmative, we have runway in sight, requesting to land, Sir". The flight was again cleared to land. The pilot read back: "cleared to land runway 02", though clearance had been given for runway 20 initially. The air traffic controller then also read back the clearance for runway 02.
Shortly afterwards the aircraft impacted terrain and burst into flames where at least 49 people were killed. Police say 22 survivors are hospitalized. This is the third worst accident for Nepal.

US-Bangla Airlines is a privately owned Bangladeshi airline headquartered in Dhaka and based at Shahjalal International Airport. US-Bangla Airlines commenced operations with domestic flights on 17 July 2014. It is a subsidiary of US-Bangla Group, a United States-Bangladesh joint venture company. Initially, the airline launched two domestic destinations, Chittagong and Jessore from its hub in Dhaka. Flights to Cox's Bazar from Dhaka were launched in August. In October, the airline launched flights to Saidpur. In July 2016, the airline announced plans to phase in its first two Boeing 737-800 aircraft in September of the same year, and to subsequently launch new international routes, for example to Singapore and Dubai by the end of 2016.
US-Bangla Airlines is planning to acquire Airbus A330 or Boeing 777 to start operations to Jeddah and Riyadh.

Aircraft Information
Aircraft: De Havilland DHC 8 -402
Engines: 2 x PWC PW150A
Operator: US- Bangla Airlines
Flight Number: BS 211
Registration: S2-AGU
Serial Number: 4041
Test Registration: C-FGNP
First Flew: 2001
Age: 17 yrs old

Thoughts and prays go out to the immediate families and their friends and of course the staff at US-Bangla Airlines.

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