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Bangladeshi plane crashes in Nepal, killing at least 50

 

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – A Bangladeshi airliner crashed on Monday after making an unexpected turn in cloudy weather as it came in to land at the airport in Nepal’s capital, killing at least 50 people, officials said.

 

There were 71 people on board the US-Bangla Airlines plane arriving from Dhaka when it clipped the fence at Kathmandu and burst into flames, said Raj Kumar Chettri, the general manager of the hill-ringed airport.

Those aboard included 33 Nepali passengers, with 32 from Bangladesh, one from China and one from the Maldives.

“All of a sudden the plane shook violently and there was a loud bang,” one of the survivors, Basanta Bohora, told the Kathmandu Post daily. “I was seated near a window and was able to break out of the window.”

The accident was the latest to hit mountainous Nepal, which has a poor record of air safety. Small aircraft ply an extensive domestic network and often run into trouble at remote airstrips.

“We have recovered 50 dead bodies so far,” said army spokesman Gokul Bhandari. Although several people had been rescued from the burning wreckage of the Bombardier Q400 series aircraft, nine people were still unaccounted for, he added.

Chettri said that moments after the plane received permission to land, the pilot said he wanted to go in a northern direction. Asked by the control tower if there was a problem, he replied in the negative.

The plane was then seen making two rounds in a northeast direction, Chettri said. Traffic controllers again asked the pilot if things were OK, and he replied, “Yes”.

The tower then told the pilot his alignment was not correct, but there was no reply, Chettri added.

“The plane should have come from the right direction,” Chettri said, adding that it hit the airport fence, touched the ground and then caught fire.

 

 

It was not immediately clear if the pilot had issued a “Mayday” call, or distress signal.

Many of the bodies that lay on the tarmac, covered with cloth, were charred, witnesses said. Thick plumes of smoke could be seen from the aircraft at the Tribhuvan International Airport.

The aircraft that went down on Monday was 17 years old, data from tracking website Flightradar24.com showed. It descended to an airport altitude of 4,400 feet (1,341 m) and then climbed to 6,600 feet (2,012 m) before crashing about two minutes later, the website said.

Bombardier said on Twitter it was saddened by the accident.

 

“Our thoughts are with those injured, and their families,” it said. “More information to follow.”

There have been a series of accidents at Kathmandu in the past.

In March 2014, a flock of birds shattered the windshield of a Malaysia Airlines MASM.KL jet as it landed in Kathmandu. The same month, a rear wheel of an Airbus A320 operated by an Indian budget airline caught fire after landing.

In 1992, all 167 people aboard were killed when a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok crashed while trying to land in Kathmandu.

 

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Aviation

B737 MAX 8 Cabin System Malfunctions: Passengers Experience Nosebleeds and Ear Pain

B737 MAX 8 Cabin System Malfunctions: Passengers Experience Nosebleeds and Ear Pain

A Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet operated by Korean Air, bound for Taichung, Taiwan, encountered a distressing incident when its cabin pressurization system malfunctioned shortly after takeoff.

Reports from passengers described a sudden onset of problems, prompting the aircraft to promptly return to Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea. As the malfunction unfolded, the aircraft was compelled to rapidly descend from its cruising altitude of over 30,000 feet to approximately 9,000 feet.

2 passengers suffered nosebleeds; 15 reported ear pain

This sudden change in altitude caused discomfort among passengers, with at least two individuals suffering from nosebleeds and 15 others experiencing ear pain and hyperventilation. Emergency protocols were swiftly activated, including the deployment of oxygen masks as the aircraft descended.

Passengers recounted harrowing moments during the incident, describing how the aircraft unexpectedly lowered altitude during meal service, leading to cries from children and widespread discomfort among travelers. Many reported sensations of ear pain, dizziness, and the disorienting effects of sudden cabin pressure changes.

Despite the chaotic situation, the cabin crew was commended for their prompt response, assisting passengers with oxygen masks and swiftly securing the cabin for landing. The pilots successfully landed the aircraft back at Incheon International Airport, ensuring the safety of all on board by 7:38 p.m. local time.

No serious injuries reported despite the alarming incident

Following the incident, Korean Air took immediate steps to mitigate disruption, arranging for a different aircraft to complete the flight to Taichung the following morning. The airline issued an apology to affected passengers and initiated an investigation into the root cause of the malfunction.

Videos shared by Taiwanese passengers captured the tense atmosphere inside the cabin during the incident, highlighting the urgency and gravity of the situation faced by those on board.

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Aviation

How Emirates pilots reduce fuel and emissions during operations

How Emirates pilots reduce fuel and emissions during operations

Flying smarter and minimizing fuel consumption and emissions starts in the cockpit. Emirates embarked on implementing “Green Operating Procedures” (‘Green Ops’) in 2016, adopting a multi-pronged approach to reduce on-ground and in-flight fuel use.

This initiative also provides pilots with necessary education, awareness, data analytics, and technology to manage flights efficiently.

Led by an internal cross-functional Operations Efficiency Steering Group, Emirates aims to mitigate unnecessary fuel burn and emissions while maintaining high safety standards.

In the financial year 2023-2024, ‘Green Ops’ and other initiatives helped reduce fuel burn by over 48,000 tonnes and carbon emissions by more than 151,000 tonnes. Key operational measures include:

Discretionary Extra Fuel

  • Pilots assess operational circumstances to uplift extra fuel beyond the minimum regulatory standards only when necessary, resulting in a significant reduction of discretionary extra fuel uplift.

Flight Speed Optimization

  • Pilots optimize flight speed to reduce fuel consumption while maintaining schedule integrity, as part of Emirates’ standard operating procedures.

Reduced Flap Landing

  • Pilots select flap settings that minimize aerodynamic drag, reducing fuel consumption without compromising safety.

Idle Reverse Thrust

  • Upon landing, pilots use idle reverse thrust to decelerate the aircraft, depending on runway conditions, to reduce fuel consumption.

Reduced Engine Taxi-In (RETI)

  • After landing, pilots shut down one or two engines during ground taxiing, increasing the use of RETI sevenfold since its introduction.

Optimized Flight Routings

  • Emirates uses flexible flight routes, optimizing each route for fuel efficiency and time savings since 2003.

Technology and Innovation – FlightPulse

  • Emirates introduced FlightPulse, a self-service data analytics tool developed with GE Digital Aviation Services, enhancing monitoring and collaboration for improved safety and fuel efficiency.

Center of Gravity Optimization

  • Aircraft are loaded to optimize the center of gravity, enhancing aerodynamic efficiency and saving fuel.

APU Usage

  • On the ground, Emirates reduces APU usage in favor of electrical ground power units (GPU), reducing emissions by over 30%.

Adjusted Potable Water Uplift

  • Flights upload the required amount of potable water calculated scientifically, reducing weight and ensuring fuel efficiency without compromising passenger comfort.

Through these comprehensive measures, Emirates pilots play a crucial role in reducing fuel consumption and emissions, contributing to more sustainable airline operations.

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Aviation

Air India Alters Elderly Couple’s US Flights Without Notice

Air India Alters Elderly Couple's US Flights Without Notice

An elderly couple’s travel plans were unexpectedly disrupted when Air India allegedly changed their tickets and destinations without prior notification, as reported by a user recounting the ordeal.

According to Dushyant Arora, the couple discovered the changes only when they attempted to check in for their flight to Newark, New Jersey, scheduled for June 19.

They were shocked to find that Air India had booked them on separate flights. The husband was re-routed to New York instead of Newark, departing on a different day than originally planned, while the wife’s itinerary remained unchanged.

The couple, unfamiliar with the changes and concerned about flying separately, decided to cancel their tickets. This decision was particularly difficult for the mother, as it would have been her first time flying abroad, and she expressed reluctance to travel alone.

The couple was not contacted by anyone from the airline to inform them of the changes. The tickets had to be cancelled by the couple. In response to the X user, Air India stated that the customer’s request for a complete refund has been fulfilled.

“Dear Sir, we apologise that this happened and assure you that we never plan to interfere with our clients’ travel arrangements. “We have conducted a complete refund in accordance with the primary customer’s request, who was booked in the PNR,” stated Air India.

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