Tuesday, January 22, 2019 | ePaper

US-Bangla airline claims pilot wasn't at fault

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bdnews24.com :
US-Bangla Airlines says the pilot wasn't at fault in the plane crash at Nepal airport leaving dozens killed.
Captain Abid Sultan, who was rescued in a critical condition, has also died, the airline confirmed on Tuesday.
"We did not find any problem from the captain's end," US-Bangla spokesperson Kamrul Islam told the media in Dhaka.
"He has flown the Dash-8 Q400 aircraft for 1,700 hours. He has logged over 5,000 flight hours in the Bangladeshi aviation industry; over a hundred landings in Kathmandu. He was quite familiar with the airfield and the aircraft. We do not think, the captain had any fault."
At least 49 people died on Monday after the Bangladeshi airliner crashed in cloudy weather as it flew in to land at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.
Seventy-one people were on board the plane arriving from Dhaka when it clipped the fence of the runway and burst into flames.
The last four minutes of the conversation between the pilot and air traffic control or ATC indicated a possible confusion in the mind of the pilot about the runway. Describing the conversation as "vital evidence", US-Bangla official Islam said that the black box has been recovered.
"We have heard the YouTube audio and there is definitely confusion … We have said that it's possible to be misguided from the ATC in such cases. It will take a bit time to recover the data from the black box," he said.
Tribhuvan airport authorities, however, has said the pilot came in from the wrong direction to the runway.
Nepali authorities have recovered the black box of the 16-year-old aircraft and opened on inquiry.
Senior US-Bangla officials, including the CEO along with 46 members of crash victims' families have reached Kathmandu, said Islam.
He said the bodies will be handed over to the families in due process and that the US-Bangla Airlines will bear the cost of treatment of the survivors.
Dismissing media reports on a dispute between Captain Abid Sultan and the airlines, Islam described it as a "wrong message".
"The authority has no right to pressure pilots, if they consider themselves 'not fit for the fly' even at the cockpit, when they are about start the aircraft. These messages (reports) are incorrect and misleading."
Over the 2015 mishap of a US-Bangla domestic flight at the Syedpur airport, Islam said, "There is no link between that flight and the Nepal incident. They are different aircraft."

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