The pilot of the Bangladeshi airplane that crashed in Nepal last March had an emotional breakdown and resorted to smoking on board, resulting in deadly accident, the Nepali probe panel has deduced.
The US-Bangla Airlines flight from Dhaka caught fire on landing in Kathmandu, killing 51 of the 71 people on board, in Nepal's worse aviation disaster in recent times.
"The pilot thought he could manoeuvre the aircraft and land. But he could not," Buddhisagar Lamichhane, a member of the probe panel, told Reuters on Monday.
#USBangla pilot was under ‘severe mental stress’— myRepública (@RepublicaNepal) January 28, 2019
The 52-year-old pilot was declared unfit to fly in 1993 due to his medical condition (#depression). He was later declared medically fit only in 2002.
Complete story at https://t.co/aFz9N9J5v7
The 52-year old captain was "emotionally disturbed" because he felt that a female colleague who was not on board the fatal flight had questioned his reputation as a good instructor, the report by Nepal's Accident Investigation Commission reads.
"This, together with the failure on the part of both the crew to follow the standard operating procedure at the critical stage of the flight, contributed to the loss of situational awareness," the report adds.