Thursday, October 19, 2017

A retired pilot revives crashed plane as aviation museum

A Turkish Airlines plane that crash landed at Kathmandu airport two years ago will be welcoming on board again not for a flight but as the first aviation museum in Kathmandu.
The Airbus A330 was carrying 224 passengers when it skidded off the runway at Kathmandu’s airport in March 2015, coming to a stop with its nose buried in the grassy verge on the edge of the tarmac. Though, no one was hurt, the crash shut Nepal’s only international airport for four days as technicians struggled to move the plane.
The aircraft was eventually dragged to a disused corner of the airport where it sat rusting for two years until Captain Bed Upreti had an innovative idea of turning it into a museum.
Upreti bought the metal carcass and has invested $600,000 to turn it into an aviation museum that he had done earlier also but in far western part of the country in Dhangadi.
In Dhangadi, he had turned an abandoned Fokker 100 into a museum, though smaller compard to the one he oa planning in Kathmandu.
Working only at night when the airport was closed, it took a team of engineers from Turkey six weeks to dismantle the plane into 10 pieces, before loading them onto trucks for the 500 metre journey across the road. It took another two months to put all the pieces back together. With all the seats stripped out of the belly of the plane, the new museum feels surprisingly spacious.
The business class section of the plane will feature a model of the Wright Brothers’ first aircraft – the first machine to successfully take to the sky – and in the tail there will be a cafe.
More than 150 miniature display planes will chart the history of aviation as well as the story of Nepal’s flying industry.
The museum will give a chance to people, who might never fly, to step into a plane, Upreti said, hoping that the museum will also inspire young minds to become pilots and engineers. 

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