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US-Bangla crash: Nepal says pilot had 'emotional breakdown'

January 29, 2019 5:17 am

The pilot of a plane that crashed in Nepal last March “seemed to have an emotional breakdown”, according to a final report into the disaster.

The flight carrying 71 people from Dhaka in Bangladesh caught fire as it landed in Kathmandu, killing 51 people.

It was initially thought that poor communication with air traffic control may have been to blame.

But investigators now say the pilot was ranting to crew members and even smoking in the cockpit, due to stress.

Nepal’s Accident Investigation Commission said in its report that the captain of US-Bangla Airlines flight BS211 was “very much emotionally disturbed and stressed” because a female colleague, who was not on board the plane, had “questioned his reputation” as a good flight instructor.

The 52-year-old pilot was released from the Bangladeshi Air Force in 1993 because of depression, the report says, but was later declared fit to fly civilian aircraft.

Recent medical reports had not mentioned any symptoms.

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