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Plane thought to have crashed in Nepal is latest of many

February 18, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The search for a plane missing in Nepal with 18 people aboard is continuing, with soldiers conducting a ground search in the area where the plane, a Twin Otter, is thought to have crashed.

Air traffic controllers lost all contact with the Nepal Airlines plane a few minutes after it took off from the resort town of Pokhara, bound for Jumla, around 360km west of the capital Kathmandu.

The plane was carrying 15 passengers – reportedly including a child – and three crew. Nationalities are unclear though there are likely to have been tourists aboard and the passenger manifest states that one of the passengers was Danish, the BBC reported.

The BBC also noted persistent criticism of the maintenance of many passenger aircraft in Nepal.

In December, the European Union put all of Nepal’s airlines on a blacklist that banned them, on safety grounds, from flying to EU countries.

Over 12 private airlines fly around Nepal to nearly 50 airports, many of them in tricky, precipitous locations, surrounded by towering mountains and with no road access. Low cloud and ice add to the challenges.

Aviation authorities note that since 1949, the year the first aircraft landed in Nepal, more than 70 different crashes involving planes and helicopters have killed more than 700 people.

Written by Peter Needham

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