Plane in Pepal Makes Emergency Landing after Fatal Crashes
By: Annie Yager, Xiro Xone News March 03, 2016
A small plane carrying nine passengers was forced to make an emergency landing at Kathmandu airport Wednesday, aviation officials said, a week after two deadly crashes.
The 19-seater plane took off for Lukla, known as the gateway to Mount Everest, when a bird struck its right wing, Kathmandu airport official Ranjan Bhattarai said.
"No passengers were harmed," he said, adding that engineers were inspecting the aircraft for any signs of damage.
The crash comes a week after two deadly plane crashes in the Himalayan nation, whose air safety record is blamed largely on inadequate maintenance, inexperienced pilots and poor management.
A Twin Otter turboprop aircraft slammed into a mountainside in Nepal last Wednesday killing all 23 people on board.
Two days later, two pilots were killed when a small passenger plane crash-landed in the country's hilly midwest.
Birds have traditionally posed a serious safety concern for Kathmandu's airport, which is located close to forested hills.
In 2012, a plane crashed shortly after taking off from the airport when it hit a bird, killing all 19 people on board.
An investigation concluded that the pilot panicked, causing the plane to crash.
Despite the risks, air travel is popular in Nepal, which has a limited road network. Many communities, particularly in the mountains and hills, are accessible only on foot or by air.