Tue, 20 Aug, 2019

Black Days for Nepali Aviation; 2 Crashes in 3 Days

By Mahan Adhikari

Picture Courtesy: thehimalayantimes.com

Nepal is a country with diverse geography: we have plain Terai, valleys, and high Mountains. The majority of Nepal has mountainous regions which can only be accessed by air-routes. But unpredictable weather, lack of technical expertise and instrumental failures have caused many lives to be lost during the travel. More than 25 people fell prey to this unfortunate incident in the span of 3 days.

On Wednesday, February 24th, A Twin-otter traveling to Jomsom from Pokhara crashed in Myagdi district of Nepal. 23 peoples, including three crew members and two children, were boarded on the Tara Air’s 9N-AHH which went missing after few minutes of its take-off. The exact reason for the crash has not been determined. There were no survivors in the crash and very few bodies were recognizable as they were heavily charred/burnt. The airplane hit the cliff and its wreckage and the bodies were dispersed in the cliffy area, making it incredibly hard to conduct the rescue operation. The Nepal Police helicopter couldn’t land in the zone due to constant snowing and raining.

Two days later, another aircraft suffered the same fate. Air Kasthamandap plane which was heading for Jumla from Nepalgunj crash landed in Chilkhaya of Kalikot district. The crew members sacrificed themselves by landing the plane nose-down and saving 9 other passengers. The heroes of this tragic story are pilot ‘Dinesh Neupane’ and co-pilot ‘Santosh Rana’. The cabin-crew made the decision to crash-land the plane at a farmland after realizing their engine had failed. Even though their life was in peril, the captain and co-pilot of the plane ensured the passengers about their safety. The passengers survived the crash alive and only one of the passenger is in critical condition.

Nepal’s Aviation Authority has to make firm rules about the aircraft and aviation. The Kasthamandap aircraft was a cargo plane, meaning it was never supposed to be carrying passengers. The aircraft's’ rarely undergo technical maintenance and most of the planes being used in Nepal are Old airplanes that were deemed un-flyable. Accidents can happen to anyone and anywhere, but most of it can be prevented by making firm and subtle changes. Hopefully, this is the last of such tragic news and no more lives would be lost in aviation disasters again.