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Nepal begins probe of deadly crash of Bangladeshi airliner

Staff Writer |
Investigators have retrieved the flight data recorder from the wreckage of a Bangladeshi airliner that crashed on Monday, killing at least 49 aboard, including the crew, when it attempted to land in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu.

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The airline and airport authorities in Kathmandu have blamed each other in the aftermath of the aviation disaster, the Himalayan nation’s worst since the 1992 crash of a Pakistan International Airlines aircraft killed 167.

“The flight data recorder has been recovered, we have kept it safely,” the airport’s general manager Raj Kumar Chettri said, adding that an investigation had been launched into the cause of the crash.

The Bombardier Q400 series aircraft was carrying 71 people from the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka when it tried to land in conditions of visibility that weather officials said exceeded 6km, with clouds at one end of the runway and a light tailwind of 6 to 7 knots.

Flight operator U.S.-Bangla Airlines said captain Abid Sultan, a former pilot of the Bangladesh Air Force, had landed more than 100 times at Kathmandu, where wind shear and bird hits are frequent hazards.

Sultan had more than 5,000 hours of flying experience and was specially trained to land at the airport, airline spokesman Kamrul Islam said.

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