The ill-fated US-Bangla Airlines aircraft at Tribhuban International Airport on March 12
Dhaka : US-Bangla Airlines has termed the report by a Nepalese newspaper as "bogus" and that it was published "intentionally" to "belittle" the airline.
The airline said it will protest the report in writing and pointed out that investigation into the March 12 incident at Tribhuban International Airport (TIA) Kathmandu was yet to be complete.
Besides Nepal, there was representative of Bangladesh in the committee to probe the causes of the mishap which claimed 51 lives.
Captain Salahuddin M Rahma-tullah also dismissed the report.
Kamrul Islam, General Manager, Public Relations, told an international news organisation that the report of the newspaper quoting Nepalese government sources was baseless as the Nepalese government does not have any separate investigation committee.
Only one committee is investigating the incident where, besides international representatives, there were also delegates from Bangladesh, Nepal and the aircraft manufacturer.
Islam said the committee has neither submitted its report nor the black box report. So how can the newspaper say pilot Abid Sultan was stressed? As far as we know, the report will be submitted in December, he said.
He was cent per cent fit before flying. If he had any physical or mental problems, it would have been detected through the tests. The co-pilot Prithula Rashid was a woman. So naturally he would talk to a woman, Islam added.
The CAAB conducts annual medical checks on pilots. Sultan did not exhibit any recurring mental issues during the medical examinations from 2002 to 2018.
"None of the medical reports that the committee reviewed from 2012 to 2017 mentioned any symptoms about depression," its records said.
Aircraft Accident Investigation Group of Bangladesh (AAIG-BD) chief and Flight Operation Consultant of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Salahuddin M Rahmatullah said, the report is bogus as we have completed 50 per cent of the work. And no investigation report can be published without me.
He said the government of Nepal formed "Nepal Investigation Commission" as per international civil aviation rules and directives.
Besides him, there is a Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation of Nepal, some Nepalese pilots, one representative from Canada and another from aircraft manufacturer Bombardier are in the committee.
"The probe committee formed by the Nepalese government to probe the US-Bangla plane crash is yet to make any report public. I, as a member of the investigation commission, made a phone call to the authorities concerned of the committee but they told me that the information is not correct," said the AAIG-BD chief.
Salahuddin M Rahmatullah also said the investigation report is likely to be released in December.
Nepal's probe body trashes media report
Meanwhile the Accident Investigation Commission constituted by the Nepalese government to look into the US-Bangla plane crash has now voiced serious concern and dissatisfaction over the Kathmandu Post report on its investigation findings on the plane crash.
Mentioning that the investigation to find the probable cause and contributory factors of the accident is still going on, the commission said it believes the accident investigation is not a matter for media propaganda, according to a press release sent to Captain Salahuddin M Rahmatullah, head of Aircraft Accident Investigation Group of Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh (CAAB).
The commission has serious objection to such kind of unethical and fraudulent news which may give wrong conception and belief in the public and concerned people, it said, adding that it is a matter of disgrace to publish such sensitive matter, which is still under investigation and discussion within the commission without validating authenticity of the news from proper authorities.
The commission said the report has not been completed and published officially. "Once the report is completed, it will be made public as per the provision of the government regulations and ICAO standards."
It also urged all concerned not to make unnecessary speculation regarding this very sensitive issue where lives were lost from Nepal and other friendly countries.