Nepal Army aircraft crashes - Six people feared dead - Nepal

Nepal Army aircraft crashes – Six people feared dead

OCT 18, 2011, KATHMANDU, Nepal – An Ill fated Aircraft of Nepal Army which was carrying a patient of Nepal army itself from far-western Nepal has crashed in the hilly region of Baglung district this evening at about 7.10 PM.

The RAN-49 BN2T military aircraft belonging to the Nepal Army (NA) carrying six persons crashed at the Chaudhul Dhuri village in Bowang VDC-9, Baglung, on Tuesday evening.
All passengers on board have been feared dead, as authorities are yet to confirm their status.

According to Colonel Kuber Thapa of the Army’s Directorate of Public Relations, a team of army personnel from Bhimghatte has been sent to the Crash site.

An army official said a rescue team from the district headquarters has been sent to Burtibang. The team will have to walk at least 7-8 hours to reach the crash site from Burtibang.

Major Bishal Singh Rathor was the pilot-in-command while Major Diwakar Karki was the co-pilot of the aircraft that took off from Nepalgunj. The aircraft was airlifting an ill army personnel, Keshav Singh Airi, to Kathmandu when the accident occurred. A Dhangadhi-based policeman, Ram Singh Airi, who was Keshav’s caretaker, was also on board.

The other passengers included army medical staff Dr Rabita Pathak and Milan Gotame.

The night-vision fixed-winged aircraft that departed from Nepalgunj airport at 6:30 pm had contacted the airport at 7:04 pm. The last contact it made with the Kathmandu Area Control (ACC) was at 7: 06 pm. The aircraft was at Thara point near Shandikharka in Arghakhanchi then, according to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

The flight was scheduled to report its position to the ACC after it reached Pyuthan, which did not happen, according to Pratap Babu Tiwari, the chief of Pokhara Airport.

Instead of heading towards east Pyuthan, the aircraft flew towards the south, possibly due to glitches in the aircraft’s navigational equipment, a source at Nepalgunj Airport said.

The crash was confirmed at around 9:00 pm, two hours after the plane went missing. According to locals, the aircraft was descending in the dark without any lights on and crashed on a hill.

“There was a loud bang and there was a fire on the hill,” said Lal Kumari Thapa, a local of Chaudhul Dhuri.

The most reliable Short Take Off & Landing (STOL) aircraft was donated by the UK government during the insurgency in 2005.

Nepal’s Sky is so dangerous as most of the crashes are occurred during this time of the year and many of the aircraft are acknowledged to be lack of maintenance and periodical inspections.

Source: KOL