Smoking in cockpit caused Nepal plane crash, 51 killed

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Kathmandu plane crash killed 51 people
Kathmandu plane crash killed 51 people

New Delhi : A massive plane crash took place on January 27 when the pilot, who was in charge of the flight had smoked inside the cockpit despite restrictions. US-Bangla airline Bombardier UBG-211 crash killed 51 passengers on board. Investigation is underway.

There is a company policy of 'No Smoking' in all the flights, domestic as well as international. Despite of the smoking warning, the PIC (pilot in command) was smoking, authorities confirmed to the media. The commission concluded from CVR (cockpit voice recorder) record that PIC smoked in the cockpit during this flight.

Conversely, the operation department and other authorities may not have been sure about this safety violation by the PIC during flight, the Accident Investigation Commission formed to probe the reasons behind the crash of the airline.

Meanwhile the reports clarified that only tobacco was used during the flight duration and ruled out the use of any other sort of banned assorted items consumed during the flight time.

The Accident Investigation Commission determines that the probable cause of the accident is due to disorientation and a complete loss of situational awareness in the part of the crew member, the investigation committee said.

Close to 51 people lost their lives when the aircraft crashed immediately after landing on Nepal's Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA). The reports were published later after the investigation commission submitted it to the Nepali Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.

The Accident Investigation Commission mentions that the possible cause of the accident is due to disorientation and a complete loss of situational awareness in the part of the crew member. 

The post-mortem of the deceased, performed in the Department of Forensic Medicine in Kathmandu, found blunt force injury head to be the reason for the death of the passengers.

The report has pointed to the human discretion and the natural factor that contributed for the downing of the aircraft.

The aircraft failed to approach the runway in proper touchdown attitude; given that the aircraft attempted touchdown in extreme attitudes, the flight crew followed a non-prescribed procedure and that the situation was further complicated by prevailing westerly crosswind conditions at Kathmandu (VNKT), the aircraft departed the runway surface towards the south eastern direction, the committee said.

The Cockpit Voice Recorder data revealed some confusion in communication within the terminal area between the crew and the air traffic controller (VNKT Tower) regarding intentions of the flight crew and clearances for runways 02 and 20. Some of the weakness on Air Traffic parts like poor monitoring the aircraft visually after giving landing clearance for RWY 02, confusion on issuing the instruction for a go-around through the ATC alerted the crew that the aircraft was proceeding towards runway 20 even the landing clearance was given for runway 02, the reports found.

Further, the control tower of TIA was also blamed, as per report.