The Dhaka to Kathmandu US-Bangla Airlines flight, with 67 passengers and four crew members on board, caught fire after it careened off the runway and ploughed into a football ground near the Tribhuvan International Airport yesterday.
Kathmandu: At least 50 people have been killed in the tragic accident where a Bangladeshi plane crashed and burned into flames at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu.
The airline's chief executive Imran Asif said on Monday that there had been a "fumble from the control tower" as the plane approached the airport's single runway. "The airplane was not properly aligned with the runway", Chettri said.
The blackbox from the aircraft has been recovered from the accident site.
But Imran Asif, CEO of US-Bangla Airlines, told reporters in Dhaka that "we can not claim this definitely at the moment, but we are suspecting that the Kathmandu air traffic control tower might have misled our pilots to land on the wrong runway". We were all scared that everything was done in front of our eyes, "said a woman who was on another plane at the same airport".
The US-Bangla Airlines plane was carrying 71 people and burst into flames as it landed on Monday, according to reports. At one point, the controller told the co-pilot she was heading toward runway 20, although the aircraft had been cleared for runway 02.
US-Bangla said Sultan, a former Bangladesh Air Force pilot, had landed more than 100 times at Kathmandu, where wind shear and bird hits are frequent hazards in the mountainous region.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal did not directly confirm the authenticity of the transcript, saying publication of such exchanges went against the law.
However, airport authorities claimed that the pilot had ignored the control tower's instructions and approached the runway from the wrong direction. There is silence for a while, then a "Fire One" calls the tower, indicating that a crash has occurred and the airport fire tender has been activated. At one point, the controller told the woman copilot she was heading toward runway 20, although the aircraft had been cleared for runway 02. Then I saw the plane change direction nearly completely and it was flying straight towards us.
Canadian High Commissioner in Dhaka said everyone at the Canadian High Commission was saddened by the crash of flight BS 211 from Dhaka to Kathmandu. The pilot was then asked if he has the runway in sight, to which he replies, "Negative", it said.