PLANE CRASH IN NEPAL: Mobile phone signals from pilot of crashed Nepalese plane may provide vital clues to crash site
Nepalese Tara Air’s Twin Otter 9N-AET turboprop plane took off at 10:15 a.m. from Pokhara, and lost contact with the control tower 15 minutes later, according to an airline spokesman.
The missing plane could be located after Nepal Telecom tracked down the mobile phone of the plane’s pilot, Captain Prabhakar Ghimire, via the Global Positioning System (GPS) network, Nepali media reported.
“Captain Ghimire’s mobile phone from the missing plane rang and the Nepal Army helicopter landed in the possible crash area after tracking the captain’s phone from Nepal Telecom,” Prem Nath Thakur said. , General Manager of Tribhuvan International Airport. by the MyRepublica newspaper website.
A Nepalese army helicopter carrying 10 soldiers and two civil aviation authority employees landed on a river bank near Narshang Monastery, the possible site of the crash, media reported.
Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority said it had traced the potential location of the plane to Khaibang through an emergency locator transmitter. However, due to inclement weather, search operations were halted for the day.
There are four Indian nationals, two Germans and 13 Nepalese passengers in addition to a three-member Nepalese crew, said Sudarshan Bartaula, a spokesman for the airlines.
“The Tara Air flight 9NAET which departed from Pokhara at 9.55am today with 22 people on board, including 4 Indians, has gone missing. The search and rescue operation is underway. The Embassy is in contact with their families .Our emergency number: +977 -9851107021,” the Indian Embassy in Nepal tweeted.
The airline released the passenger list, which identified four Indians as Ashok Kumar Tripathy, his wife Vaibhawi Bandekar, his son Dhanush Tripathy and his daughter Ritika Tripathy.
The plane was due to land at Jomsom Airport in the Western Highlands at 10.15am.
The plane lost contact with the tower from the sky above Ghorepani on the Pokhara-Jomsom air route, air sources said.
According to an air traffic controller at Jomsom airport, they have an unconfirmed report of loud noise at Ghasa of Jomsom.
The weather conditions on the Pokhara-Jomsom route are currently cloudy with rainfall, which has affected search operations, airline sources said.
Earlier, Interior Minister Bal Krishna Khand ordered authorities to step up search operations for the missing plane.
The plane was last tracked as it circled towards the peak of Dhaulagiri, officials said.
Tara Air is the newest and largest air service provider in the Nepalese mountains, according to the airline’s website.
It started its activities in 2009 with a mission to help develop rural Nepal.