Friday, March 8, 2019

Government limits Airbus AS350 helicopter from carrying more than six people

The government has limited the Airbus-manufactured AS350 model helicopter to carry up to six people only.
The government has limited the number of passengers that Airbus-manufactured AS350 model helicopter can carry, after the fatal helicopter crash in Taplejung on February 27 that claimed lives of a minister, tourism entrepreneuer, aviation officials and pilot.
An Air Dynasty AS350 helicopter had crashed on February 27 in which then tourism minister Rabindra Adhikari lost his life along with five other passengers including two officials of the country’s aviation regulatory body and the pilot.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and Helicopter Society of Nepal signed an agreement yesterday to remove the seventh seat from all the helicopters of Airbus-manufactured AS350 model, after the fatal crash. Earlier, the AS350 model was being operated in a 6+1 seat format, which has now been changed to 5+1 seat format. Most of the chopper service providers have removed the seventh seat.
According to CAAN, the difficult geographical terrain of Nepal has made putting seven people on board the AS350 model chopper more risky when the helicopter is flying to hilly and mountainous areas. So the authority has decided to remove the seventh seat to make the chopper ride more safe. CAAN said it is also preparing guidelines for helicopter services for VIPs flights.

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