Operation of NAC’s Harbin-Y 12e remains uncertain

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Photo: Nepal Airlines MA60, Harbin Y-12e and DHC 6-300 Twin Otter at NAC Hangar

Operation of NAC’s Harbin-Y 12e remains uncertain

March 2, 2017 Kathmandu

National Flag Carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation currently has two 17-seater Chinese aircraft Harbin Y-12e for domestic flight operations. But the corporation at present only has 3 pilots for operating both the aircraft. At one hand NAC has scheduled 28 flights a week with the two Chinese Harbin Y-12e   aircraft and in the other hand needs to operate the aircraft with 3 pilots. But the scenario is even worst to know that the national flag carrier only has one Commanding Captain in comparison to two Co-Pilots. Compelling the airlines to either void CAAN’s flight rule or reschedule its flight operation accordingly with the allocation of flight captain.

NAC has scheduled four flights daily with its two Chinese aircraft considering only a captain and two co-pilots to fly. According to the rules of nation’s aviation authority CAAN, NAC needs 5 pilots to operate a single small aircraft.

“NAC has scheduled flights with its two Chinese aircraft which is impossible to operate with 3 pilots” one of the NAC’s chief pilots shared the bitterness of the situation, “How can a captain fly two aircraft relatively? Despite knowing two aircraft can’t fly together with same captain, NAC scheduled flights with its two aircraft.”

According to him, one aircraft will have no captain after another makes the flight so, the schedule remains but aircraft will be grounded. Uddhab Ghimire is a current Captain flying the 17-seater Y-12e whereas Prachanda Khadka and Rakesh Kafle are the co-pilots. NAC has grounded its chief captain Nipendra Bhattarai and Sanjaybade Shrestha from previous 2 months. Also it has already been 45 days that Captain Anishman Shakya hasn’t been involved in the flights.

NAC has 4 captains and 6 co-pilots for operation of Harbin Y-12e but two captains are grounded and another captain is not conducting flights. Also 4 co-pilots Shrijana Rawat, Liberty Bhandari, Bijaya Awale and Rabin KC are not permitted to fly since last 2 years. The reason behind this is the lack of Instructor pilot for Y-12e as per the source. That is why NAC has been giving 45 hours “guaranty hour” allowance per month to the operating co-pilots.

Among the two aircraft, one of them is grounded in Pokhara and the newly arrived is unable to fly due to outnumbered pilot. “We are admitting new pilots so, the problem will get solved,” NAC’s Corporate Director and Spokesperson Rabindra Shrestha said, “We have also requested Chinese aircraft manufacturer to provide pilots.”

Captain Nipendra Bhattarai was suspended for miss behaving his seniors. After his reaction to the incident, NAC again issued 7 day time for the Captain to be presented with written answers for miss behaving, the pilots to halt the flights.

Sugat Ratna Kansakar, MD of NAC said that Captain Bhattarai was suspended for acting against the rules and regulations of the corporation. He also said, “Captain Bhattarai misbehaved with administrative chief and didn’t concentrate on flying.” Despite the shortage of pilots to fly the Chinese aircraft, NAC has suspended Captain Bhattarai and Captain Sanjaybade Shrestha filing unwanted charges, respective source claimed.

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