Pilot suffered ’emotional breakdown’ before crash that killed dozens

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By Reuters

KATHMANDU, Nepal — An airline pilot “seemed to have an emotional breakdown” before a deadly crash last March, according to an investigation report into Nepal’s worst aviation disaster in 26 years.

US-Bangla Airlines Flight BS211 from Dhaka, Bangladesh, crashed on its second landing attempt at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport on March 12, 2018.

The pilot and co-pilot were among the 51 killed and 20 others were injured.

March 12, 201800:34

The investigation report compiled by Nepalese officials and made available Monday said the probable cause of the crash was the pilot’s disorientation and loss of situation awareness.

“Landing was completed in a sheer desperation after sighting the runway, at very close proximity and very low altitude,” it added.

The 52-year-old pilot was also under stress and “emotionally disturbed” because he felt that a female colleague who was not on board the fatal flight had questioned his reputation as a good instructor, Nepal’s Accident Investigation Commission said.

The report added that the pilot had been released from the Bangladesh Air Force in 1993 due to depression and was only allowed to fly civilian planes from 2002 after a detailed medical evaluation.

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