Saturday, March 24, 2018 | ePaper

US-Bangla plane crash was clearly avoidable

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A HUGE confusion has arisen following last Monday's US-Bangla plane crash near Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport. So far the actual reason behind the crash could not be confirmed. The latest death toll now stands at 49, and can only go up as the identities of the many dead bodies are yet to be confirmed. Most of the bodies are burnt and charred from the flames, delaying the identification process. We are shocked and share the unending sorrow with the family members of the victims.

The point, however, the crash is unacceptable on many counts. Firstly it is learnt, being so close to the runway, there was surely a misunderstanding between the control tower and the pilot. Secondly, air-traffic control of the airport claimed that the pilot approached the runway from the wrong end despite repeated warnings. Thirdly, Tribhuvan International Airport in an official press release claimed that the pilot did not follow the controller's instructions. It said landing from South to North was common but the pilot picked the other end. Furthermore, it claimed that the pilot was alerted by the controller that the plane's alignment was not correct but there was no response.

Amid a spree of speculations and suspicions, now it's time to quickly investigate the actual reason behind the crash. The airport in Kathmandu is no stranger to sporadic mishaps, crashes, and casualties. This one truth should have been surely grasped by the pilot before he took off. Additionally, the YouTube conversation released by the Airport Authority should be clarified on some crucial points of the conversation so pinpoint the actual reason.

The crashed aircraft was not short of fuel, it did not lose its flight direction and understandably, the accident was avoidable. Then again accidents can happen any time and in anywhere.  Nevertheless the latest accident should serve as an important lesson. Loss of lives of innocent passengers can never be compensated. Whoever the guilty party may be - pilot or the Airport Traffic Control - the culprit should be arrested and reprimanded so to avoid more future disasters. Last but not least, our private airlines should only be allowed to operate if they succeed in fulfilling international flight operating standards, meaning operating with experienced pilots and good quality aircrafts or else they should be barred from operating both domestically and internationally.

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