Emergency landing of NAC Airbus at TIA; airport closed subsequently
26 September 2016 – Kathmandu
National Flag Carrier Nepal Airlines aircraft Airbus 320 with registration 9N-AKX and named as Lumbini declared and emergency while approaching Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu today. The flight that departed Delhi, Indira Gandhi International Airport at 1:35 PM and arrived Kathmandu at 3:45 PM.
The aircraft made an emergency landing and consequently landed safely at TIA. All the passengers have been disembarked out of the aircraft. The aircraft has been parked at parking bay number 2 after exiting the runway. All the fire and rescue team were kept stand by while the aircraft landed emergency but there was no mishap during landing.
There were 154 passengers and nine crew on board the aircraft, and the aircraft was under command of instructor captain Francois M Fenart and first officer Aswini Khadka.
According to a source, the captain of the aircraft reported smoke in cockpit and declared emergency while it was descending through 11,000 feet. The aircraft then safely landed at TIA.
All the flights approaching TIA have been diverted to India. The Fly Dubai flight and other domestic flights have been diverted and the airport was closed after the aircraft landed. The airport remained closed for about half an hour after the landing was made and now the airport has resumed the operation back.
Seems like NAC is really having a bad time during this time of peak season when the main festival of the country is just few days away and the airlines in Nepal are handling massive amount of travellers each day. Another aircraft of NAC of same series also lies grounded on the hangar after having problem in Engine Pressure Ratio EPR system of the aircraft.
It is somewhat obvious that this aircraft ‘Lumbini’ will also remain under inspection which may impact the regular flight schedules of Nepal Airlines. The engineers and technicians have been inspecting the aircraft as it stays in the parking bay for now.