A Sita Air plane bound for Lukla, Nepal crashed this morning in Nepal killing all 19 on board as the plane burst in to flames.
The Dornier aircraft reportedly hit a bird just after takeoff and crashed on a river bank a short time later.
The Hindu reports:
‘According to TIA general manager Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, preliminary investigations showed that the aircraft hit a bird while taking off. The Air Traffic Control had given the plane clearance at 6.17 a.m. local time. A minute later, pilot Bijay Tandukar reported a bird had hit an engine and he would attempt an emergency landing back at the airport on a single engine. He was, however, unable to do so and the aircraft crashed a few hundred metres away from the runaway on the river banks, near a squatter settlement.
“In such a situation of single engine failure in a twin-engine aircraft, if the plane has reached a safe altitude and attained a certain speed, it can continue to fly while the pilot plans his next move. This is conjecture, but in today’s case, the pilot seems to have panicked as is natural under the circumstances. He may have tried a turn a little too early and too low,” aviation expert Hemant Arjyal told The Hindu’
Reports also indicate the plane burst in to flames after crash landing and that passengers could be heard screaming indicating some may have died of burns rather than the impact. This is still be confirmed.
A full investigation is expected to commence.
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