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Last updated: 9 August 2020
Status:Final
Date:Friday 28 September 2012
Time:06:18
Type:Silhouette image of generic D228 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Dornier 228-202
Operator:Sita Air
Registration: 9N-AHA
C/n / msn: 8123
First flight: 1987-04-08 (25 years 6 months)
Total airframe hrs:15248
Engines: 2 Garrett TPE331-10T-511D
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 16
Total:Fatalities: 19 / Occupants: 19
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:ca 0,4 km SE of Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport (KTM) (   Nepal)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport (KTM/VNKT), Nepal
Destination airport:Lukla Airport (LUA/VNLK), Nepal
Flightnumber: 601
Narrative:
A Dornier 228-202 passenger plane, operated by Sita Air, was destroyed when it crashed shortly after takeoff from Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport (KTM), Nepal. All 19 on board were killed.
The airplane was cleared for takeoff from runway 20 at 06:17. During the takeoff run, while approaching 70 kt, approximately 13 kt below V1 and VR, the first officer called "Vee one rotate". The aircraft began to rotate but did not lift off the ground and the nose
was briefly lowered again. As the aircraft reached 86 kt, it lifted off the ground and the landing gear was raised immediately.
As the aircraft began to climb, it accelerated to 89 kt over approximately two seconds. It continued to climb to 100 ft above the runway over the next 11 seconds but, during this time, the speed decreased to 77 kt. The aircraft then flew level for 14 seconds during which time the following occurred: the speed decreased to 69 kt; the air traffic controller asked "Any technical?" to which
the pilot replied "[uncertain]… due bird hit"; it's heading changed slowly from 200 °M to approximately 173 °M; and the stall warning was triggered for three seconds as the aircraft decelerated through 71 kt.
Two seconds after the stall warning ended, it was triggered again for approximately six seconds with the airspeed at 69 kt. The aircraft began a gentle descent at 69 kt with the stall warning sounding and the rate of turn to the left increased rapidly. It departed controlled flight, most probably left wing low, and crashed into a small open area 420 m south-east of the end of runway 20.
A runway inspection found the remains of a bird, identified as a "Black Kite", at a position 408 m from Intersection 2. No evidence of bird remains was found in the engines.

Probable Cause:

Causal Factors
The investigation identified the following causal factors:
1. During level flight phase of the aircraft, the drag on the aircraft was greater than the power available and the aircraft decelerated. That resulted in excessive drag in such critical phase of ascent lowering the required thrust. The investigation was unable to determine the reason for the reduced thrust.
2. The flight crew did not maintain the airspeed above the stall speed and there was insufficient height available to recover when the aircraft departed controlled flight.
(c) Contributory Factors
The investigation identified the following contributory factors:
1. The flight crew did not maintain V2 during the climb and so the power required to maintain the level flight was greater than it would otherwise have been.
2. The flight crew did not maintain the runway centreline which removed the option of landing the aircraft on the runway remaining.

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: AAIC Nepal
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Cause undetermined
Loss of control

Sources:
» Hemant Arjyal
» Nepal News
» The Kathmandu Post
» SKYbrary 


Follow-up / safety actions

Nepal AAIC issued 15 Safety Recommendations

Show all...

Photos

photo of Dornier-228-202-9N-AHA
accident date: 28-09-2012
type: Dornier 228-202
registration: 9N-AHA
photo of Dornier-228-202-9N-AHA
accident date: 28-09-2012
type: Dornier 228-202
registration: 9N-AHA
photo of Dornier-228-202-9N-AHA
accident date: 28-09-2012
type: Dornier 228-202
registration: 9N-AHA
photo of Dornier-228-202-9N-AHA
accident date: 28-09-2012
type: Dornier 228-202
registration: 9N-AHA
photo of Dornier-228-202-9N-AHA
accident date: 28-09-2012
type: Dornier 228-202
registration: 9N-AHA
 

Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
08 APR 1987 D-CEZH Dornier first flight
18 SEP 1987 D-CEZH Holiday Express delivered
16 AUG 1988 VH-NSH National Safety Council of Australia bought
21 MAY 1990 N2255E G M Hock Construction Inc. registered
13 DEC 1990 F-ODZG World Airline Executive registered
05 MAY 1992 F-ODZG Air Caraibes
APR 2003 9N-AHA Sita Air delivered

Map
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 Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport to Lukla Airport as the crow flies is 134 km (84 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the 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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Dornier 228

  • 328+ built
  • 36th loss
  • 16th fatal accident
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 2nd worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

 Nepal
  • 9th worst accident (at the time)
  • 11th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile