Investigation shows US-Bangla crash caused by ’emotionally disturbed’ captain

A leaked draft of an official investigation on US-Bangla air crash at Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) has stated that Captain of the plane had suffered ‘emotional breakdown’ that led towards the crash. The Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 of the US Bangla crashed on 12th March 2018 at TIA killing 51 out of total 67 passenger and 4 crews.

The investigating team stated that Captain of the flight Captain Abid Sultan wept during the flight as his skills were questioned by a co-worker and due to the stress, he continuously smoked in the cockpit and suffered mental breakdown during times of flight. Co-Pilot Prithula Rashid had only been qualified but had never before landed at TIA and the captain’s continuous monologue led to the “total disorientation” of the co-pilot.

us-bangla-crashStills from CCTV footage during the crash. Photo courtesy: Kathmandu Post/ Asia News Network

The captain was also an instructor for the airline and had been talking non-stop so as to impress the junior co-pilot about his competence and proficiency. The report included that the captain was in stress and became emotionally disturbed when a co-worker had questioned about the captain being a good instructor hurting his reputation.

The aircraft when approaching the runway made a last-minute change in direction as the plane had not reduced its speed and required landing checks were not carried out stated the report.
The report also mentioned about confusion among Air Traffic Controller and pilot stating that the ATC did confuse about Runway-02 and 20 but concluded that it had no impact on the flight.

Qries

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Some findings from the investigation:

  1. Nepal probe reveals fresh info from the flight’s voice recorder
  2. Captain Abid Sultan lied to control tower
  3. Smoked inside cockpit
  4. Made erroneous decision
  5. Made an abusive statement toward a female colleague 
  6. Cried on several occasions 
  7. Planned to resign on the day before
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