US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211

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US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211
S2-AGU.jpg
The aircraft involved in the accident, S2-AGU, seen in 2014
Accident
Date12 March 2018 (2018-03-12)
SummaryRunway alignment Error, possible pilot error
SiteTribhuvan International Airport, Nepal
27°41′33.29″N 85°21′32.03″E / 27.6925806°N 85.3588972°E / 27.6925806; 85.3588972Coordinates: 27°41′33.29″N 85°21′32.03″E / 27.6925806°N 85.3588972°E / 27.6925806; 85.3588972
Aircraft
Aircraft typeBombardier Dash 8-Q400
OperatorUS-Bangla Airlines
IATA flight No.BS211
ICAO flight No.UBG211
Call signBANGLA STAR 211
RegistrationS2-AGU
Flight originShahjalal International Airport, Dhaka
DestinationTribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu
Occupants71
Passengers67
Crew4
Fatalities52
Injuries19
Survivors19

US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211 was a scheduled international passenger flight by US-Bangla Airlines from Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal. On 12 March 2018, the aircraft serving the flight, a 78-seater Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, crashed on landing, and burst into flames.[1] There were 67 passengers and 4 crew members on board; 52 people died, while 19 survived.[2][3][4][5][6]

This is the deadliest aviation disaster involving a Bangladeshi airline,[7] as well as the deadliest accident involving the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400.[8]

Aircraft[edit]

The aircraft was a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 registered S2-AGU.[9][10] It was first delivered to Scandinavian Airlines in 2001, and was then sold to Augsburg Airways in 2008 before being bought by US-Bangla Airlines in 2014. It had already been involved in an incident in 2015, when it skidded off the runway in Saidpur, an incident with no injuries. The aircraft sustained minor damage and returned to service eight hours later.[11]

Accident[edit]

The flight departed from Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, at 12:52 local time (UTC 6:52), carrying 67 passengers and 4 crew members, 71 people in total, to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The departure and the cruise stages of the flight were uneventful.[12][13]

There was confusion and conflicting communications between the pilot and the airport tower control. The tower initially gave clearance to land on runway 02, but, the tower had to warn the aircrew that they were approaching runway 20. Further conversation between the pilots and the control tower continued to confuse the runways.[14]

At 14:18 local time (08:30 UTC), the aircraft passed the threshold of runway 02 and touched down, and then veered off the runway and crashed through the airport's perimeter fence and onto a soccer field, breaking into several sections and bursting into flames.[12] According to eyewitnesses, the plane was not aligned properly with the runway.[13] One of the survivors noted that "the plane had begun to behave strangely".[2] Ground workers stated that the aircraft swayed repeatedly.[12] A survivor recalled that while the plane was landing it shook violently and crashed, followed by loud bangs.[15][16]

Firefighters and emergency services were immediately deployed. It took 15 minutes for firefighters to douse the flames.[17] Thirty-one people were transported to several hospitals in Kathmandu, many of them critically injured. Rescue workers immediately found eight bodies on the crash site. Further search and rescue operation found 32 more bodies. 52 people were killed in the crash; of these, 40 people died on the scene, while 12 others were declared dead in hospital.[12][13] This number was initially only nine, until two more succumbed to injuries the day after, while a third died two weeks later.[18] The airport was closed for three hours due to the crash.[19]

Passengers and crew[edit]

The aircraft was carrying 65 adult passengers, two child passengers, and four crew members, for a total of 71 on board.[2] The captain was Abid Sultan, a former Bangladesh Air Force pilot.[20] The first officer was Prithula Rashid, the first female pilot of the airline.[21][22]

Sultan had 22 years of flying experience, was one of the experienced pilots of the airline, and had accumulated 1700 hours in the aircraft type.[23] According to the airline, he had flown to Kathmandu more than 100 times.[24] He survived the accident but died of injuries a few hours later.[25]

Rashid, 25, joined the airline in July 2016. She survived the accident but died of her injuries.

Passengers and crew of Flight 211[26][27]
NationalityPassengersCrewTotal
Nepal33033
Bangladesh32436
China101
Maldives101
Total67471

Investigation[edit]

Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Oli visited the crash site to observe and monitor the rescue operation.[13] He later launched an investigation into the crash.[2]

A recording of the conversation between the pilot and air traffic control, minutes before the accident, suggested some misunderstanding over the approach direction for which the aircraft had been cleared to land.[2]

Bangladesh and the aircraft manufacturer are participating in the investigation led by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal which reported that the flight recorders had been recovered.[28] Various eyewitness reports have also surfaced.[28] The Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission (AAIC) released their preliminary report on 9 April. Initial findings were that the aircraft had touched down 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) from the start of the runway.[29]

Media reports on leaks from investigation report suggests pilot error led to the crash “When we analysed the conversation on the Cockpit Voice Recorder, it was clear to us that the captain was harbouring severe mental stress. He also seemed to be fatigued and tired due to lack of sleep”, “He was crying on several occasions.” The report also shows that Sultan made multiple abusive statements toward a female colleague (another co-pilot in the company) who had questioned his reputation as an instructor, and their relationship was a major topic of discussion throughout the flight. Records show that Rashid, the co-pilot, was a passive listener to Sultan’s story throughout the flight.[30]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "US-Bangla airlines plane crashed at Kathmandu airport, Nepal". Kathmandu Tribune. March 12, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Kathmandu airport crash: 49 dead as US-Bangla plane veers off runway". BBC. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  3. ^ Suri, Maneeva; Pokharel, Sugam (12 March 2018). "49 dead after plane crash at Nepal's Kathmandu airport". CNN. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Death toll from US-Bangla plane crash hits 51". thehimalayantimes.com. 14 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Cause of Crash: US-Bangla, Tribhuvan at loggerheads". 17 March 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Shocking! Nepal Plane Crash Today images: Over 50 feared dead as US-Bangla airlines aircraft crashes at Kathmandu airport". financialexpress.com. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  7. ^ "US-Bangla plane crash: New details shed light on how it happened". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  8. ^ "Aviation Safety DHC-8-400 Statistics". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  9. ^ "S2-AGU US-Bangla Airlines De Havilland Canada DHC-8-400 history". Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  10. ^ "US-Bangla airlines aircraft crashes at TIA, casualties feared". The Kathmandu Post. Ekatipur. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  11. ^ Hradecky, Simon (September 4, 2015). "Incident: US-Bangla DH8D at Saidpur on Sep 4th 2015, runway excursion after landing". Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d "Kathmandu plane crash updates: KP Sharma Oli assures immediate probe, reaches airport to take stock". First Post. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d "Nepal plane crash highlights: Bangladesh aircraft catches fire at Kathmandu airport, over 50 feared dead". Indian Express. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  14. ^ "liveatc.net". LiveATC.net. Retrieved 12 March 2018.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Lucky to be alive: Nepal plane crash survivor". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  16. ^ "US-Bangla plane crashes at TIA". Nepali Times. March 12, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  17. ^ gettleman, Jeffery. "'Save Me, Save Me': Scores Dead in Plane Crash in Kathmandu". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  18. ^ "US-Bangla plane crash survivor Shahin Bepari dies". Dhaka Tribune. March 26, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  19. ^ "49 dead in US-Bangla plane crash at Kathmandu airport". The Kathmandu Post. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  20. ^ "After deadly Nepal crash, Bangladeshi airline defends pilots". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  21. ^ "Prithula Rashid, a life cut short". The Daily Star. 2018-03-13. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  22. ^ "A life cut short". The Daily Star. 2018-03-14. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  23. ^ News, United. "Pilot, 3 crewmembers confirmed dead". unb.com.bd. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  24. ^ Connor, Neil (13 March 2018). "Confusion over path of plane blamed for Nepal crash which killed 49". Retrieved 16 March 2018 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  25. ^ "Pilot Abid survives US-Bangla plane crash in Nepal, co-pilot Prithula dies". bdnews24.com. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  26. ^ Kitching, Chris (12 March 2018). "Plane bursts into flames after crashing near Kathmandu airport 'killing dozens'". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  27. ^ Admin, Admin (13 March 2018). "Maldivian doctor suffers spinal fracture in Nepal plane crash". Mihaaru. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  28. ^ a b Hradecky, Simon. "Accident: US-Bangla DH8D at Kathmandu on Mar 12th 2018". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  29. ^ "Preliminary Report of Aircraft Accident Investigation UGB211" (PDF). Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission. 9 April 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  30. ^ "US-Bangla pilot was mentally stressed, reckless: Nepali probe report". The Daily Star. 27 August 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.

External links[edit]