ASIA-AUGUST 27, 2018
Nepal Investigators have found that the Captain of US-Bangla plane that crashed in March, killing 51 people, had lied to the control tower during the final approach.
Dash8 Q400, Flight BS211 with 67 passengers and 4 crew from Dhaka, Bangladesh crashed short of the runway, broke apart and burst into flames on final approach to Runway 02 at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on 12 March 2018. 51 occupants including both pilots died on the crash.
According to investigation report obtained by Kathmandu post, Captain Abid Sultan was smoking through out the flight and lied to air traffic control (ATC) about the landing procedures.
Six minutes before the landing time, Captain had confirmed that the plane’s landing gear was down and locked. “Gears down, three greens,” the pilot said, but the investigators found the landing gear was not down on call.
According to the report, the flight began deviating from its course, despite being cleared to land on runway 02. After a much confusion, mostly by flight crew, the landing clearance on runway 02 was received. The crash occurred less than a minute after that.
A transcript of the conversation;
Tower: “I say it again, do not proceed towards runway 20. Cleared to hold at your current position.”
Tower: “BanglaStar211, runway … eh … cleared to land. Runway is vacated, either runway 02 or 20?”
The captain said he would land on 20.
Tower: “BanglaStar211, confirm you have the runway in sight?”
Captain: “Negative, Sir” — because he was on his approach to land and yet he could not see the runway. And the captain was trying to do a visual landing.
Tower: “Turn right and ah … you have the runway. Confirm you have the runway not in sight yet?”
Captain: “Affirmative. We have runway in sight. Requesting clear to land, sir.”
The tower gave him the clearance.
Pilot: “Cleared to land runway 02.”
Tower: “Roger. Runway 02 cleared to land.”
But then strangely the pilot again asks: “Sir, are we cleared to land?”
The tower yells: “BanglaStar211, I say again turn …. (yelling in background)”
Aircraft crashed in less than a minute.
Investigators reported “When we analysed the conversation on the Cockpit Voice Recorder, it was clear to us that the captain was harbouring severe mental stress. He also seemed to be fatigued and tired due to lack of sleep,” investigators wrote in the report. “He was crying on several occasions.”