Human errors behind fatal Fishtail Air chopper crash: Report

KATHMANDU: The preliminary report on investigation into the Fishtail Air chopper's fatal in Nuwakot district in last August has pointed finger at human errors behind the tragedy.

Six persons including the pilot were killed when the chopper with call sign 9N-ALA As 350, in Chuchhebhir of Madanpur in the district in central Nepal.

The pilot lost the situational awareness to overconfidence and this is blamed to be one of the causes of the crash, the report states.

The probe committee headed by former Director General of the Department of Aviation Haribhakta Shrestha took five months, two months more than the given deadline, to come up with a preliminary report on the fatal crash.

The detailed report about is expected to come soon. The committee submitted its report to Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Jeevan Bahadur Shahi amidst a programme at the Ministry Sunday.

The pilot lost the situational awareness as the chopper entered the zone of fast forming cloud over Kakani as it was returning to the capital from Philim of Gorkha. The pilot lacked experience and was not familiar to operate in a narrow valley and with the specific low level weather pattern of the hilly narrow valleys, the report said.

The chopper's main wing touched the cliff. The report states this as a probable cause of the accident.

The Committee also presented suggestions in 21 points for safe air travel. The chopper was flying at the altitude of some 5,500 feet when it encountered thick fast-forming could and hit the cliff as the pilot tried to swerve the direction.

The helicopter manufactured in 1993 with the capacity of carrying 2,250 kg flew for around 9082 hours and 50 minutes until it met with the accident.