Makalu Air Cessa 208B crash investigation report; pilots being victim of hypoxia

The investigation report of Makalu Air Cessa 208B Grand Caravan crash at the mountainside of Simikot Pass at an altitude of 12,800 feet has been submitted to Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA).

The initial report of four member committee formed has submitted report to MoCTCA mentioning that “Human factor is the main reason for the accident” on Thursday (December 20).

According to one official of Commission as per the study, the aircraft should not have flew above an altitude of 11,000 feet but it flew nearly 13,000 feet. “As the aircraft flew higher, both pilots did not put oxygen masks so it seems “hypoxia’,” he added.

Hypoxia is a condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply at the tissue level. The pilots are supposed to use oxygen anytime of operation above 10000 feets.

Due to hypoxia, pilots tend to have over confidence and this might have made them fly higher inside the cloud which they supposed was just a patch ultimately causing the crash accident,” official said.

Tri Ratna Manandhar, Director of Commission has handed over the report to Rabindra Adhikari, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.

According to the rule of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), it will be finalized by the concerned body after two months.

A Cessna 208B Grand Caravan single-engine aircraft with call sign ‘9N-AJU’ was en-route to Simikot from Surkhet transporting cargo. The cargo plane took off from Surkhet airport at 6:12am for Simikot in Humla crashed at Bahunkharka of Kharpunath Rural Municipality, Humla. There were just two crew members Captain Kiran Bhattrai and co-pilot Aditya Nepali in the plane.

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 helicopters of Mountain Air and Nepal Army were deployed for search operation from Kathmandu and found the crashed plane.

This was one of the tragic moment for the Nepali aviation as two competent pilots have been lost and the safe flight operation will be questioned once again.

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