ASN Aircraft accident de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8 S2-AGU Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport (KTM)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Monday 12 March 2018
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH8D model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8
Operator:US-Bangla Airlines
Registration: S2-AGU
MSN: 4041
First flight: 2001
Total airframe hrs:21419
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150A
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 47 / Occupants: 67
Total:Fatalities: 51 / Occupants: 71
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport (KTM) (   Nepal)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Dhaka-Shahjalal International Airport (DAC/VGHS), Bangladesh
Destination airport:Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport (KTM/VNKT), Nepal
US-Bangla Airlines flight 211, a DHC-8-402, departed Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka, Bangladesh at 06:51 UTC on a scheduled flight to Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Prior to departure, while in radio contact with Dhaka Ground Control and the airline's Operations department, the captain shows signs that he was agitated and experiencing high levels of stress. As the aircraft was in a climb phase, the captain overheard a communication between Operations and another US-Bangla aircraft regarding the fuel onboard but the captain without verifying whether the message was meant for him or not, engaged in some unnecessary conversation with the Operations staff. The Captain's vocal pitch and language used again indicated that he was very much emotionally disturbed and experiencing high level of stress.
The aircraft established its first contact with Kathmandu Control at 07:52 UTC. At 08:07 the First Officer contacted Kathmandu Control and requested descent clearance. Kathmandu Control cleared the flight to descend to FL160 with an estimated approach time of 08:26 which was acknowledged by the First Officer. At 08:10 the flight was handed over to Kathmandu Approach. At 08:11, Kathmandu Approach instructed the aircraft to descend to 13500 feet and hold over GURAS. The crew inserted the HOLD in the Flight Management System.
At 08:13 Kathmandu Approach further instructed the aircraft to reduce its speed and descend to 12500 feet. Three minutes later a further descent clearance was given to 11500 feet, and the flight was cleared for a VOR approach to runway 02 maintaining minimum approach speed. Both crew members forgot to cancel the hold on the FMS as they were engaged in some unnecessary conversation.
Upon reaching GURAS, the aircraft turned left to enter the holding pattern over GURAS, which was noticed by both crew members and immediately the captain made a correction. At the same time they were alerted by Approach Control. The captain immediately selected a heading of 027° which was just 5° of interception angle to intercept the desired radial of 202° inbound to KTM. The spot wind recorded was westerly at 28kt. The aircraft continued approach on heading mode and crossed radial 202° at 7 DME of KTM VOR. The aircraft then continued on the same heading of 027° and deviated to the right of the final approach course.
Having deviated to the right of the final approach path, the aircraft reached about 2-3 NM North east of the KTM VOR and continued to fly further northeast. At 08:27, Kathmandu Tower (TWR) alerted the crew that the landing clearance was given for runway 02 but the aircraft was proceeding towards runway 20. At 08:29, Tower Controller asked the crew of their intention to which the captain replied that they would be landing on runway 02. The aircraft then made an orbit to the right. The Controller instructed the aircraft to join downwind for runway 02 and report when sighting another Buddha Air aircraft which was already on final for runway 02. The aircraft instead of joining downwind leg for runway 02, continued on the orbit to the right on a westerly heading towards Northwest of runway 20. The controller instructed the aircraft to remain clear of runway 20 and continue to hold at the present position as the Buddha Air aircraft was landing on runway 02 (from the opposite side) at that time. After the landing of the Buddha Air aircraft, the Tower Controller, at 08:32 UTC gave a choice to BS211 to land either on runway 20 or 02 but the aircraft again made an orbit to the right, this time northwest of runway 20.
While continuing with the turn through a southeastern direction, the captain reported that he had the runway in sight and requested tower for clearance to land. The Tower Controller cleared the aircraft to land but when the aircraft was still turning for the runway it approached very close to the threshold of runway 20 on a westerly heading and not aligned with the runway. At 08:33:27 UTC, spotting the aircraft maneuvering at very close proximity to the ground and not aligned with the runway, the Tower Controller hurriedly cancelled the landing clearance of the aircraft by saying, "Takeoff clearance cancelled".
Within the next 15-20 seconds, the aircraft pulled up in westerly direction and with very high bank angle turned left and flew over the western area of the domestic apron, continued on a southeasterly heading past the ATC Tower and further continued at a very low height, flew over the domestic southern apron area and finally attempted to align with the runway 20 to land.
During this process, while the aircraft was turning inwards and momentarily headed towards the control tower, the tower controllers ducked down out of fear that the aircraft might hit the tower building. Missing the control tower, when the aircraft further turned towards the taxi track aiming for the runway through a right reversal turn, the tower controller made a transmission by saying, "BS 211, I say again...". At 08:34 UTC the aircraft touched down 1700 meters down the threshold with a bank angle of about 15 degrees and an angle of about 25 degrees with the runway axis (approximately heading Southeast) and to the left of the center line of runway 20, then veered southeast out of the runway through the inner perimeter fence along the rough down slope and finally stopped about 442 meters southeast from the first touchdown point on the runway. All four crew members (2 cockpit crew and 2 cabin crew) and 45 out of the 67 passengers onboard the aircraft were killed in the accident. Two more passengers succumbed to injury later in hospital during course of treatment. The aircraft caught fire after 6 seconds of touchdown which engulfed major portions of the aircraft.

An investigation into the captain's behaviour showed that he had history of depression while serving in the Bangladesh Air Force in 1993 and was removed from active duty after evaluation by a psychiatrist. He was re-evaluated by a psychiatrist in January 2002 and was declared to be fit for flying. Examinations in successive annual medical checks were not focused on his previous
medical condition of depression, possibly because this was not declared in the self-declaration form for annual medicals.
During the flight the captain was irritable, tensed, moody, and aggressive at various times. He was smoking during the flight, contrary to company regulations. He also used foul language and abusive words in conversation with the junior female first officer. He was engaged in unnecessary conversation during the approach, at a time when sterile cockpit rules were in force.
The captain seemed very unsecure about his future as he had submitted resignation from this company, though only verbally. He said he did not have any job and did not know what he was going to do for living.

Probable Cause:

The Probable Causes:
The Accident Investigation Commission determines that the probable cause of the accident is due to disorientation and a complete loss of situational awareness in the part of crewmember.
Contributing to this the aircraft was offset to the proper approach path that led to maneuvers in a very dangerous and unsafe attitude to align with the runway. Landing was completed in a sheer desperation after sighting the runway, at very close proximity and very low altitude. There was no attempt made to carry out a go around, when a go around seemed possible until the last instant before touchdown on the runway.

Contributing Factors:
a. Improper timing of the pre-flight briefing and the commencement of the flight departure in which the operational pre-flight briefing was given in early morning but the flight departure time was around noon and there were four domestic short flights scheduled in between.
b. The PIC, who was the pilot flying, seemed to be under stress due to behavior of a particular female colleague in the company and lack of sleep the preceding night.
c. A very steep gradient between the crew.
d. Flight crew not having practiced visual approach for runway 20 in the simulator.
e. A poor CRM between the crew.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: AAIC Nepal
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 11 months
Accident number: Final report
Download report: Final report

Flightcrew member's mental condition
Runway excursion (veer-off)

» EXCLUSIVE: US-Bangla pilot was mentally stressed and reckless (, 27 August 2018)

METAR Weather report:
08:20 UTC / 14:05 local time:
VNKT 120820Z 28008KT 240V320 6000 TS FEW015 FEW025CB SCT030 22/11 Q1015 NOSIG CB TO SE S AND SW

08:50 UTC / 14:35 local time:
VNKT 120850Z 26007KT 140V300 7000 FEW015 FEW025CB SCT030 BKN100 21/10 Q1015 NOSIG CB TO SE AND S

Follow-up / safety actions

Nepal AAIC issued 15 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


photo of DHC-8-402Q-Dash-8-S2-AGU
photo of DHC-8-402Q-Dash-8-S2-AGU
accident date: 12-03-2018
type: de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8
registration: S2-AGU
photo of DHC-8-402Q-Dash-8-S2-AGU
accident date: 12-03-2018
type: de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8
registration: S2-AGU
photo of DHC-8-402Q-Dash-8-D-ADHR
accident date: 12-03-2018
type: de Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8
registration: D-ADHR

Video, social media

Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
2001 C-FGNP Bombardier first flight
30 April 2001 N385BC Bombardier Capital registered
19 May 2001 LN-RDX SAS Scandinavian Airlines registered
3 July 2002 N533DS Bombardier Capital registered
17 October 2005 C-FFUV Bombardier registered
24 October 2005 JY-ASM Royal Jordanian Airlines leased
22 Jan. 2008 C-FRGT Bombardier registered
22 May 2008 D-ADHR Augsburg Airways registered
28 Oct. 2013 D-ADHR Augsburg Airways stored at Maastricht
30 May 2014 S2-AGU US-Bangla Airlines registered
4 Sep. 2015 S2-AGU US-Bangla Airlines veered off runway at Syedpur Airport

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Dhaka-Shahjalal International Airport to Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport as the crow flies is 658 km (411 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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