Bangladesh investigator blasts Nepal probe report of US-Bangla plane crash

- A Monitor Report 27 Aug, 2018  |    -      +
Dhaka: Bangladeshi investigator Captain Salahuddin M Rahmatullah, who is closely engaged with the Nepali official investigation into the crash of US-Bangla Airlines plane in Kathmandu, termed the findings “baseless” of a report leaked in a Nepali newspaper the Kathmandu Post.

The Nepal probe report drew flak by Capt Rahmatullah, also head of Aircraft Accident Investigation Group (AAIG) of Bangladesh.

He was critical of the Nepal authorities that such probe report should not have been leaked to the media, as four to five months are still left for the Nepal’s official probe final report will be released body to complete its investigation.

He also said he would raise the issue with the Nepali authorities and protest the findings purportedly mentioned in the report.

Rahmatullah said he is closely involved with the Bangladesh official investigation process and do not have any such information that can confirm the claim of Nepal probe report.

Meanwhile, US-Bangla Airlines has rejected a Nepal newspaper report over the investigation findings carried out by the Nepal authority on the US-Bangla aircraft crash saying the report was 'fictitious' and ‘discourteous’.

Kamrul Islam, General Manager (marketing support and public relations) of the US-Bangla Airlines said we are awaiting for the probe committee to submit its report over the probe.

According to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annexe 13 guideline for probe of air accident, the Nepal Civil Aviation Authority and Civil Aviation Ministry jointly with Civil Aviation Authority of Bangadesh (CAAB) are investigating the air crash.

Such probe report’s published in a Nepal daily will certainly damage the reputation of the US-Bangla Airlines and cockpit crew, said Kamrul Islam.

The leaked report claims that the pilot of the US-Bangla plane that crashed at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport in March, killing 51 people, appears to have lied to the control tower during the landing procedure and was smoking continuously inside the cockpit during the one-hour flight from Dhaka to Kathmandu.

According to details of the Nepal’s official probe led by the Nepal government, Captain Abid Sultan was going through tremendous personal mental stress and anxiety, and a series of erroneous decisions on his part led to the crash of the Flight BS211.

Throughout the flight, Sultan was engaged in erratic behaviour that marked a departure from his usual character-signs that should have immediately raised red flags, Nepali investigators concluded in the report.

However, when co-pilot Prithula Rashid conducted a final landing checklist, the landing gears were not down. Minutes later, the plane carrying 67 passengers and four crew members burst into flames after missing the runway during its second landing attempt. Only 20 passengers survived the crash.

The voice recorder has captured nearly an hour-long conversation between the captain and his co-pilot in the cockpit, further demonstrating Sultan’s tensed mood throughout the flight and a complete lack of situational awareness.

Hours after the crash at Tribhuvan International Airport, US-Bangla CEO Imran Asif squarely blamed the Kathmandu Air Traffic Controller (ATC) for giving erratic messages for landing at runway 02 and 20 to the cockpit.

Recently, Sena Kalyan Insurance Company as compensation has issued cheques to families of eight victims of the US-Bangla plane crash including co-pilot Prithula Rashid worth BDT 3.36 crore.

Earlier, the same insurance company has paid US$6.7 million as compensation against the doomed Bombardier Dash 8 Q400.

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