Though a great loss of human lives have been averted today due to emergency landing of a Nepal Airlines aircraft, the national flag carrier has become aircraft less for the domestic operation from today.
A Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) Twin Otter, which took off for Lamindanda, Khotang from Kathmandu, was forced to make an emergency landing at the runway of Tribhuvan International Airport due to its technical glitch in its right engine soon after taking off, informed deputy director at Tribhuvan International Airport’s Rescue Coordination Centre Bimalesh Karna.
The problem in 9N-ABU aircraft was caused due to compressor stall – an aerodynamic instability in axial compressors as the mass flow rate is reduced and the blade loading reaches its limit – it is said, adding that there were 18 people, including three crew members, on board the aircraft.
The passengers included two infants and a child. Earlier, it was reported that there were 15 people on board. Captain Sanjay Vaidya, who was the aircraft’s commander, then shut down the right engine and used the left one to land the aircraft back at the TIA.
On February 16, another Twin Otter owned by NAC had crashed in Arghakanchi killing all 18 persons on board. After today’s incidence, the national flag carrier has no aircraft to serve the hilly districts and NAC will no longer be able to conduct any domestic flight for some time.
Once upon a time, NAC that used to have 12 Twin Otters, was operating on some 22 domestic flights with only two aircraft for the last several months till February 16.
After Arghakanchi crash, the national flag carrier had halved its domestic operations, severely affecting passengers of hilly and remote areas that are not connected by roads.