US-Bangla plane crashes at TIA

Photograph taken by the scholar Bishnu Sapkota.
Update 6 The death toll from the crash has reached 49, including 22 Nepali nationals. At least 14 Nepali students studying MBBS in Bangladesh were on board the ill-fated plane. Update 5 Several Nepali pilots in the air at the time are heard warning the ATC in Nepali language that the Bangladeshi pilot sounded disoriented and to keep away from the traffic.“He might hit a mountain there is poor visibility all around,” one pilot is heard on the ATC radio saying.

Update 4

Three hours after the US-Bangla plane crash, Kathmandu Airport reopens. 

Update 3

Of the 67 passengers, 33 were Nepali nationals, according to a statement issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).

Update 2

According to a reliable eye-witness who was present at Sinamangal, just west of the Airport terminal, he saw the Bombardier aircraft coming in from the south, then rather than landing taking an unexpected steep turn to the left.  According to the eye-witness, the aircraft came very close to the control tower while it did the turn, then flew over a Buddha Air ATR and a Yeti Airlines Jetstream and went out of sight. "In a couple of seconds I saw a pall of smoke rise from the other side of the runway."

It is possible, according to one flight expert, that the aircraft while coming in for landing may have had a need to abort. In such a circumstance, there is a set procedure for the aircraft to fly outward before starting another descent. In this case, the aircraft for whatever reason took a very sharp turn, and it may have lost lift, leading to the crash.

Update 1

Of the 67 passengers and 4 crew members on board, 14 have been rescued so far. 

Photograph by Suraj Dahal

A turbo-prop passenger aircraft of the US Bangla airline has crashed upon landing at Tribhuvan International Airport this afternoon at 2:18 pm. The aircraft, a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 crashed after having crossed the threshold of Runway 02 (south-to-north) and after having apparently touched down. A plume of black smoke marked the site of the crash at the start of the runaway.

US Bangla BS-211 is a scheduled four-times a week flight that departs Dhaka at 12:30 PM, arriving Kathmandu's TIA at 2:15 PM. No information is yet available on number of passengers on board or of casualties.

Unofficial transcript of ATC Tape by Jay Sata on

BS211(female voice): "Good day, BanglaStar211 final runway 02.“
KTH-Tower: "BanglaStar211, tower. Wind 220 degrees eight knots, tailwind component seven knots, continue approach.“
BS211(female voice): "Continue approach BanglaStar 211.“
KTH-Tower: "BanglaStar211, wind 220 degrees seven knots, tailwind component six knots, you’re cleared to land.“
BS211(female voice): "Cleared to land, BanglaStar 211.“
KTH-Tower: "BanglaStar211, tower?“
BS211(female voice): "Go ahead, sir.“
BS211(male voice): "Go ahead, mam."
KTH-Tower: "BanglaStar211, you were given a landing clearance to runway 02."
BS211(male voice): "Affirmative, mam.“
KTH-Tower: "You are going towards runway 20.“
BS211(male voice): ...(garbled transmission) runway 02.“
KTH-Tower (different voice): "…211, runway 20, cleared to land.“
BS211(male voice): "..cleared to land..(unintelligible)."
KTH-Tower (different voice): "BanglaStar211, Kathmandu Tower"
BS211(male voice): "Go ahead“
KTH-Tower (different voice): "BanglaStar211, request your intentions.“
BS211(male voice): "..(unintelligible).."
KTH-Tower (different voice): "BanglaStar211, that would be VFR."
BS211(male voice): "Affirmative"
KTH-Tower (different voice): “ 211 join a ri…ehm..right downwind to runway 20."
BS211(male voice): "Copied."
KTH-Tower (different voice): “ …right downwind runway 02..“
Tower cleares another aircraft (Buddha282) to land on runway 02.
KTH-Tower: "And BanglaStar 211, traffic at final eh..runway 02 at two miles, report sighting."
BS211(male voice): "Copied, Sir. We’ll be at (..) runway 02."
KTH-Tower: "Confirm you’re tracking towards runway 20 ?"
BS211(male voice): "Affirmative."
KTH-Tower: "Right..left, right downwind runway 02, I say again Bangla 212 traffic is on final runway 02 landing on runway 02."
BS211(male voice): "Copied Sir"
Tower confirmed landing clearance for the other aircraft (Buddha282) to land on runway 02.
KTH-Tower: "211 I say it again, do not proceed towards runway 20. Cleared to hold at your current position."
BS211(male voice): "Okay, we’re making an orbit to the right, copied ?"
BS211(male voice): "Tower, 211, making a right holding, right holding for runway 02."
KTH-Tower: "Okay that’s good but do not land. Traffic is on short final runway 02."
BS211(male voice): "We have that, Sir copied. (unintelligible) we’re cleared to land"
KTH-Tower: "..BanglaStar211, to land. Runway is vacated, either runway 02 or 20 ?“
BS211(male voice): "Yes Sir, we like to land on 20.“
KTH-Tower: "Okay runway 20, cleared to land. Wind is 270 degrees, six knots.“
BS211(male voice): "260 copied, cleared to land.“
KTH-Tower: "BanglaStar211, confirm you have the runway in sight?“
BS211(male voice): "Negative, Sir.“
KTH-Tower: "BanglaStar211, turn right and have the runway, confirm you have the runway not in sight, yet ?“
BS211(male voice): "Affirmative, we have (..) runway in sight. Requesting clear to land, Sir."
KTH-Tower: "And BanglaStar211, cleared to land.“
BS211(male voice): "Cleared to land runway 02, BanglaStar212."
KTH-Tower: "Roger, ruway 02, cleared to land, BanglaStar211."
BS211(male voice): "..sir, are we cleared to land ?“
KTH-Tower: "BanglaStar211, I say again..turn… (yelling in background).“


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