Aviation Accidents

Pakistan International Airlines Flight 268: The Deadliest Aviation Crash in Nepal

On September 28, 1992, Pakistan International Airlines Flight 268 crashed on approach to Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport, killing all 167 people on board. The crash was the deadliest aviation accident in Nepal’s history and the 100th aviation disaster with more than 100 fatalities.

The aircraft involved in the crash was an Airbus A300, registration AP-BCP. It was en route from Karachi, Pakistan, to Kathmandu, Nepal, with 152 passengers and 15 crew members on board. The flight was uneventful until the aircraft began its descent into Kathmandu.

The aircraft was cleared to descend in seven steps to an altitude of 5,800 feet. However, the aircraft descended below its cleared altitude at each step. At 10 DME (distance measuring equipment), the aircraft was 1,300 feet below its cleared altitude. The aircraft continued to descend and crashed into the south slope of the Mahabharat Range, about 9.16 nautical miles from the VORDME beacon.

Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport

The investigation into the crash found that the probable cause was the captain’s decision to continue the descent below the cleared altitude. The captain was apparently unaware of the aircraft’s altitude and did not take corrective action. Other factors that contributed to the crash included the crew’s lack of familiarity with the Kathmandu approach procedures and the poor visibility at the time of the accident.

The crash of Flight 268 was a tragedy that claimed the lives of 167 people. The crash highlighted the importance of crew training and adherence to safety procedures. It also led to changes in the approach procedures for Kathmandu Airport.


Featured image source: https://aviation-safety.net/photo/9007/Airbus-A300B4-203-AP-BCP, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82626980
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