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Why did the US-Bangla plane crash?

  • Published at 11:39 pm March 12th, 2018
  • Last updated at 02:26 am March 13th, 2018
Why did the US-Bangla plane crash?
A probe team from the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) will arrive at Kathmandu airport in Nepal today to examine the spot where a US-Bangla plane burst into flames on landing on Monday, killing at least 50 of the 71 passengers and crew. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal and Tribhuvan International Airport authority launched their own investigations soon after the incident, which occurred at 2:18pm local time on Monday and is the worst civil aviation disaster in the history of Bangladesh. A formal press release from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) said the pilot did not follow the tower controller’s instructions during landing. Citing Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal Sanjiv Gauttam, the BBC reported that the Bombardier Q400 series aircraft was permitted to land from the southern side of the runway flying over Koteshwor, but had in fact landed from the northern side. [caption id="attachment_252464" align="aligncenter" width="900"] Photo: Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune[/caption] “We still have not figured out the reason behind the unusual landing,” Gauttam told the BBC. The airport has a sole runway, referred to as runway 02 and runway 20 depending on the approach vector. From the recording of the air traffic controller and the pilot’s discussion prior to landing, it was surmised there was gross miscommunication. According a CAAN press release, the pilot confirmed that he could land the plane safely when he changed the direction of the aircraft. He took an additional holding pattern – the oval course flown by aircraft awaiting clearance especially to land – before he was alerted by the controller that plane’s alignment was not correct. No response from the aircraft was forthcoming. “The pilot lost control and could not land on the runway – instead the aircraft crashed into a nearby field,” Bangladesh Civil aviation minister AKM Shajahan Kamal said. [caption id="attachment_252468" align="aligncenter" width="900"] Photo: Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune[/caption] CAAB Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Naim Hassan told the Dhaka Tribune that the probe committee from Bangladesh will mainly assist the CAAN committee. “After getting the report from the committee, we will be able to comment on why the plane crashed,” he said. US-Bangla Airlines CEO Imran Asif, meanwhile, claimed that the authorities at the Tribhuvan International Airport were at fault. He said the air traffic control tower issued incorrect information which led to the crash. “The pilot, Captain Abid Sultan, is alive and not at fault. He is a skilled pilot and we have never had any technical malfunctions over the last three years,” Imran added.