US Bangla crash report controversial: CAAB officials say TIA ATC could avert US-Bangla Crash

Officials of Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB) on Monday have acknowledged with the final report of US Bangla aircraft crash at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) March last year. However, they insisted that the report has not stated about lack of effort made by TIA Air Traffic Controller (ATC) which could have helped to avert the crash.

CAAB official spoked to Bangladeshi Media after report about the crash was released by Nepali Authority stating that though the pilot of the aircraft had made mistake, the disaster could have been avoided if the ATC had wanted.

Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) issued press release around a week ago about final report of US-Bangla crash which reported that it was the pilot’s fault that led to one of the major incident that occurred in Nepali aviation sector in recent time.

The report concluded that the pilot was in mental stress and emotionally disturbed and the confusion between Air Traffic Controller and Pilot as main reason of the crash.

The captain, Abid Sultan former Bangladeshi Air Force pilot had clocked more than 5,500 flying hours. He flew Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 planes, the same model that crashed in Nepal, for over 1,700 hours and the airline had earlier said Abid, who had landed more than 100 times on the mountainous Kathmandu airport, had received ‘wrong’ signal from the air traffic control or ATC tower at the airport.

Flight Operation Consultant Salauddin M Rahmatullah, who represented Bangladesh in the Nepalese investigation commission, CAAB Chiarman M Naim Hassan and Md Kamrul Islam, a general manager and spokesperson for US-Bangla, informed the Bangladeshi media after receiving the report and Rahmatullah said there is no wrong information in the Nepalese commission report, but it excluded “some information” on the role of the ATC in the crash by providing one sided verdict by blaming pilot.

The Bangladeshi official stated that the ATC could have said, ‘You climb up and we will guide you’ and stated that it was ‘natural’ for a pilot to make mistakes in the cockpit, but a controller should never make such mistake.

The official said that it was the ATC’s duty to alert the pilot about the ‘missed approach’ when it saw the landing gear was not properly opened and also added that no-one can be solely blamed for any accident.

They also said the Bangladesh authorities would appeal to the Nepalese commission to add the dropped observations to the report and added that if the Nepalese authorities do not respond to the appeal positively, Bangladesh would file a complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organization or ICAO.

A Bombardier Q400, Dash 8 aircraft of US-Bangla Airways, Flight number UBG 211 crashed at TIA on March 12 2018 near the fire side of Runway 02 during landing. The aircraft was under the command of Captain Abid and First officer Prithula. Total of 51 lost their life in the incident.

The investigation was done with the help of flight recorder (CVR/FDR), concerned officials, and cockpit record, pilot’s psychological state, flight manuals etc. The final report was made as per provision outlined Chapter 6, Section 6.5 of ICAO Annex 13.

The aircraft was on an approach to land at TIA, when it crashed in the Eastern part of the field of Runway 02, just outside the inner perimeter fence of the aerodrome. The aircraft was scheduled to arrive from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka, Bangladesh with 67 passengers and 4 crew members on-board to TIA, Kathmandu, Nepal.

At the crash site, the aircraft was found mostly burnt and completely damaged as it caught fire that engulfed major portions of aircraft at the point of its resting.


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