Summit Air plane collided with helicopter during a takeoff at Lukla Airport, 3 killed & 4 injured

A Summit Air Let L-410UVP-E20 Turbolet impacted an AS350 helicopter (9N-ALC) during a takeoff attempt at Lukla-Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Nepal.

 

The aircraft and one helicopter were destroyed. One helicopter sustained apparent minor damage.

The copilot of the Summit Airplane sustained fatal injuries. Two persons on the ground at the helipad also died in the accident.

At least four persons including Manang Air Pilot CB Gurung have been injured in the incident.

The deceased include Summit Air’s co-pilot Sunil Dhungana and Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Ram Bahadur Khadka, who was stationed in Lukla for airport security, airport officials at Lukla said.

The incident occurred as the aircraft with registration 9N-AMH skidded off the runway while preparing to take off and hit two helicopters parked 30-50 metres from the runway.

Captain RB Rokaya who was flying the aircraft and Captain Chet Gurung of Manang Air, who was in the helicopter, were also injured in the incident. They are receiving treatment at Grande Hospital and are said to be out of danger. The aircraft had hit the helicopters of Manang Air and Shree Air.

Captain RB Rokaya who was flying the aircraft and Captain Chet Gurung of Manang Air, who was in the helicopter, were also injured in the incident. They are receiving treatment at Grande Hospital and are said to be out of danger. The aircraft had hit the helicopters of Manang Air and Shree Air.

Lukla Airport is located on a mountain at an elevation of 9334 feet (2845 m). The runway is 1729 ft long (527 m) with an 11.7% gradient. Takeoffs must be performed from the downsloping runway 24. The helipad is located to the right of the runway, about 100 meters past the threshold.

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