One year into the US-Bangla plane crash in Kathmandu, lots of questions around the horrific crash remain unanswered as the airline authorities, aviation experts and relatives of the victims are not satisfied with the probe report.
The US-Bangla aircraft crashed at the Tribhuvan airport in Kathmandu, Nepal on March 12, killing at least 51 passengers out of 71 on board. There were 27 Bangladeshi nationals, including four cabin crew members on the plane.Admitting the failure of the pilot, experts said the final probe report technically avoided the fact related with the air traffic control station of the Nepalese Tribhuvan airport.
Reviewing the videos and black box, Bangladeshi authorities said the liability should be on both parties, but the Nepalese authority kept blaming the pilot.
Capt Salahuddin M Rahmatullah, Head of Aircraft Accident Investigation Group (AAIG), CAAB, who also represents Bangladesh in the investigation team, said that it was true that there was pilots’ mistake, but there was also no active response from the Air Traffic Control (ATC) control of the airport.
Even there was no instruction from ATC part. The facts will be conveyed to the authority of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) during the next meeting, he added.
“It was revealed that human error caused the incident. The investigation report blamed only the pilot for the accident but technically avoided the zero role of ATC and airport authority,” said US-Bangla Airlines spokesperson Kamrul Islam.
What the investigation report saysThe report prepared by the Accident Investigation Commission of Nepal mentioned captain Abid’s failure as the key reason for the accident.
The report concludes that as a result of flight crew’s failure to complete the approach briefing as per the Standard Operating Procedure, the Pilot in Command (PIC) and the first officer did not have a shared understanding of how the approach was to be managed and conducted, said the report.
It added that both pilots failed to recognize their lack of compliance with prescribed procedures and threat identification techniques.
The commission report also directly blamed the pilot who was in command of the aircraft for smoking inside the cockpit despite restrictions.
But the report mentioned quoting the Cockpit Voice Recorder data about the confusions in communication within the terminal area between the crew and the air traffic controller regarding intentions of the flight crew and clearances for runways 02 and 20.
Sources at insurance companies for the airline company said that insurance claim to the victims and survivors have already been paid.
Local insurance agents for the crashed aircraft of US-Bangla Airlines are Sadharan Bima Corporation and Sena Kalyan Insurance Company Ltd. Dhaka-based law firm FM Associates has been processing the applications on behalf of the families of both the deceased and the survivors.
According to their information, so far families of 19 out of 27 Bangladeshi passengers who were killed in the crash got compensation money from the insurers. And, six injured out of nine has received the compensation money.
Managing Director and CEO of Sena Kalyan Insurance Shafiq Shamim said they have handed over the insurance claim as per the international rules. Court has fixed the successors for the compensation.
There are some complexities in defining the successors in some cases which is taking some time to settle some claims, he added.
About the Nepalese passengers who survived the crash, he said those who are still undergoing treatment are yet to get compensation. They will get it after completion of their treatment.
Kamrul Islam, the spokesperson of US-Bangla Airlines, said they have extended their all-out support to the victims’ families and survivors so that they can get proper compensation at the earliest time.
“Most of the survivors and victims’ families have already received their compensation money from the insurance companies,” he said, adding that the rest of the beneficiaries will get their compensation soon.
Asked about the reason behind the delay in processing the rest of the compensation, he said a series of procedure has to be followed, including the issuance of the succession certificate—- which causes slight delays in some cases.