Nepal | April 07, 2020

Pilot duo dead as Makalu Air’s cargo plane crashes in Humla

Prakash Singh

The wreckage of a Makalu Air cargo plane that crashed at Kharpunath Rural Municipality, Humla, on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Photo courtesy: Nepal Army

BAJURA: Two pilots were killed when a shipment-laden Makalu Air’s aircraft 9N-AJUC208 (Cssan) crashed at Kharpunath Rural Municipality, Humla, this morning.

The cargo plane that took off from Surkhet airport at 6:12am for Simikot in Humla crashed at Bahunkharka of Kharpunath Rural Municipality, Humla, killing pilot Kiran Bhattarai and co-pilot Adiyta Nepali, DSP Rabin Shrestha at Humla District Police Office told THT. Their bodies have been airlifted to Kathmandu for post-mortem at TU Teaching Hospital in Maharajgunj, Shrestha added.

The wreckage of the cargo plane was lying scattered at Bahunkharka at an altitude of 3,810 metres.

Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal stated that the plane crashed in Kharpunath Rural Municipality at an altitude of 4,346 metres. A preliminary investigation showed that there were glitches in the plane and the pilots tried to make an emergency landing.

The plane was scheduled to land at the Simikot airport at 6:55am, but it went out of contact 15 minutes after it took off from Surkhet airport. Crew members were in contact with Nepalgunj tower for the last time at 6:27am.

After the plane went missing, two choppers belonging to Mountain Air and Nepal Army were deployed for search operation from Kathmandu and found the crashed plane, said  Humla CDO Madhav Dhungana.

(UPDATED)


Makalu Air freight transporter aircraft. Photo courtesy: Makalu Air

BAJURA: Makalu Air’s cargo plane 9N-AJU, which had gone missing since morning, has been found wrecked in the hilly region of Kharpunath Rural Municipality-2 in Humla district.

It has been reported that the bodies of two pilots found in the wrecked aircraft have been sent to a hospital in Surkhet for postmortem.

According to Chief District Officer (CDO) of Humla, Madhav Dhungana, the deceased pilots have been identified as Captain Aditya Nepal and Captain Kiran Bhattarai. Two helicopters of Mountain Air in cooperation with security personnel, were mobilised in the search operation.

The freight transporter aircraft was discovered wrecked and fragmented into three parts in Ekalbajkharka at around 11:00 am, CDO Dhungana informed.

The cargo plane laden with shipments had taken off from Surkhet airport at 6:15 am today and was scheduled to land at Simikot airport at 6:55 am. The aircraft had forced emergency landing after it met with technical disorder in the skies over Humla district.

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