루클라(Lukla) 비행장의 사고
04/21/2019 16:09
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히말라야의 등산시즌이 시작된지 얼마 안되었는데

지난 4월 14일 네팔의 루클라(Lukla, Nepal)공항에서 사고가 나서 4명이 사망을 하고 

4명이 부상을 당하였다.

이륙을 막 하려고 하던 비행기가 활주로 우편으로 이탈하며 헬리콥터 이착륙장에서

방금 도착하여 승객을 내리고 있었던 헬리콥터와 또 다른 착륙해 있던 헬리콥터를

덮친 것이다.


루클라 공항의 위험성은 포스트에서 여러번 언급을 한적이 있는데

이는 루클라공항이 위치한 특수한 지형과 관계가 있는 것이다.

그러나 이번 사고는 운항경험이 부족한 부기장이 조정을 한것이 

사고의 원인으로 보고 네팔 정부의 항공국이 조사중이라고 한다.


다행히 이 비행기에는 승객은 탑승을 않고 승무원 3명만이 있었는데

비행기를 조정하던 부기장과 헬리콥터 이착륙장에서 경비를 보던 경찰관 2명이 사망하였다.  

정부관계자에 의하면 승객이 없었던 관계로 기장이 부기장에게 

비행을 할 수 있도록 하였다고 한다.


아래 첨부한 비디오를 보면 알 수 있듯이

이륙을 시작하자 마자 비행기가 우측으로 내려가는 것을 볼 수가 있다.


지금 한창 에베레스트 베이스캠프로 트렉킹을 많이들 가는 시기인데.

올 봄 씨즌에 에베레스트를 네팔에서 올라가는(동남릉 루트) 등반객이 375명 입산허가를 받았는데

국가별로는 인도 75명, 미국 75명, 중국 60명의 순이다. (4월 22일 현재)

중국에서 올라가는(북서릉 루트) 등산객은 364명이라고 한다. (4월 16일 현재)

네팔에서 올라가는 숫자는 이보다 훨씬 많은데 왜냐하면 375명은 입산허가를 받은 외국인이고

내국인인 셀파의 숫자는 포함되어 있지 않기 때문이다.









*****************************************************

http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2019-04-14/flight-that-crashed-and-killed-3-in-lukla-was-under-an-inexperienced-co-pilots-command-officials-say.html


Flight that crashed and killed 3 in Lukla was under an inexperienced co-pilot’s command, officials say

SANGAM PRASAIN, Kathmandu


A relatively inexperienced co-pilot was at the controls when a Summit Air plane started to skid 

during its attempt to take off at Lukla airport, causing it to lose control and run into an exterior fence 

colliding with two parked helicopters, three officials familiar with the preliminary probe told the Post.

Two policemen and the co-pilot, Sujit Dhungana, were killed when the 19-seater aircraft crashed 

on Sunday morning. The incident is the first recorded accident in Nepal’s civil aviation history 

in which an aircraft killed personnel on the ground.


Aviation authorities investigating into the crash told the Post that the co-pilot who was commanding 

the LET L-410 flight taking off from what has been dubbed one of the world’s most challenging airports had 

significantly fewer flying hours.

“The co-pilot has not had more than a year and a half of flying experience,” an official involved in 

the preliminary probe told the Post on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. 

“That is too little experience to fly in and out of such a challenging airport.”

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal rules mandates a co-pilot flying in high-altitude areas to complete 

additional training-including for short takeoff and landing-with an instructor pilot.

During Sunday’s takeoff, investigating officials said that the captain could have allowed the co-pilot 

to take control because he had confidence in his abilities and the flight was not carrying any passengers. 

But officials at the regulatory body told the Post they will investigate all documents to confirm whether Dhungana, 

the co-pilot, was qualified to take off.

Officials at the aviation regulator said that they have obtained the aircraft’s flight data recorder and 

the cockpit voice recorder (CDR) and interviewed flight’s captain, Rabindra Rokaya, to launch a formal investigation 

into Sunday’s crash.

Another official at the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal said that the plane swung immediately after the pilots 

fed power to the plane’s systems. “The pilot-in-command was unable to control the plane and it eventually 

skidded off the runway,” the official said. A video obtained by the Post from the scene shows the moment 

the flight started to skid off the runway seconds after it began to accelerate.


Moments later, the plane ran into an exterior fence and collided with two parked helicopters that belonged to 

Manang Air and Shree Air. There were no passengers aboard the aircraft because normally, 

during the climbing season, flights drop off passengers at Lukla, the closest airport to the Everest base camp, 

and return with empty seats. 

It was Summit Air’s third flight to Manthali Airport in Ramechhap, from where it would pick up passengers 

who had flown in from Kathmandu to come to Lukla.

An eyewitness who was at the scene described the moment the plane came hurling towards the helipad 

from the flight takeoff point.

“The plane started to roll with its nose down from the end of the runway where the airport terminal is located. 

After rolling for about 30 metres in full speed, the aircraft lost control and suddenly turned right before hitting 

the Manang Air helicopter,” said Ang Tashi Sherpa, an eyewitness of the Sunday’s accident who works as 

a rescue specialist for Simrik Air.

“The aircraft first hit Manang Air helicopter standing on the upper helipad which had its rotors spinning, 

and was dragged downwards before it hit the Shree Air helicopter parked at the lower helipad,” said Ang Tashi.

Ang Tashi said passengers at the airport, most of whom were foreign trekkers and mountaineers, 

started to scream and rush to the crash site.

Tribhuvan International Airport spokesperson Pratap Babu Tiwari said that Assistant Sub-inspector 

Ram Bahadur Khadka stationed at the helipad for duty was killed on the spot. Assistant Sub-inspector 

Rudra Bahadur Shrestha, who was injured in the incident and airlifted to Kathmandu, died at 

Grande International Hospital later in the morning, hospital officials told the Post.


Rabindra Rokaya, the captain of the flight who was assisting the co-pilot, and Chet Gurung, captain of 

the Manang Air helicopter, and Lakpa Sherpa, an official with Manang Air, were injured in the accident. 

They are receiving treatment at Grande Hospital and are out of danger, doctors said.

According to Ang Tashi, the Manang Air helicopter’s rotors were spinning after it dropped some government officials 

at Lukla, including chief district officer and police officials who had arrived in Solukhumbu district 

to participate in a New Year event. Two policemen who were killed on the ground had been mobilised 

for the security of the government officials, he said.

“The accident happened just a few minutes after the chief district officer and the police officials disembarked 

from the chopper,” Ang Tashi said.

“At first, I was afraid to enter the Manang Air chopper because there was smoke coming from the back of the plane,” 

he said, recalling moments after the crash. “After a while, when I entered the chopper and tried to pull the helicopter captain out of his seat, he told me he could not move because of severe back pain,” said Ang Tashi. 

“I asked him whether the main fuel was shut off. He told me it was.”

According to Ang Tashi, the co-pilot may have died because of the impact of the Manang Air’s rotor that 

could have hit him. “The plane had dragged the helicopter down for few seconds and the rotor was still spinning,” 

he said.

This is the second crash of Summit Air, formally known as Goma Air, and third crash with casualties in Lukla. 

Two years ago, Summit Air Flight 409 crashed on its final approach to Lukla, killing two pilots. In 2008, 

a Yeti Airlines flight crashed while making a final approach and caught fire, killing 18 passengers and flight crew. 

The aircraft's captain was the only survivor.

The runway at the Lukla airport, often referred to as one of the world’s dangerous airports, is 527 meters long 

that has been carved into a mountain ridge with a sharper-than-normal slope. 

The airport is located at 2,845 meters above sea level and is considered the first stop for hundreds of climbers 

who come to Nepal annually during this time of the year to climb Mount Everest.

 

Published: 14-04-2019 21:40


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