Review Of Nepal Flight Safety Vital After Another Sita Air Crash

Lawyers And Families Call For Answers And Improvements


By Rob Dixon

Specialist aviation lawyers and the families that they represent in relation to a fatal plane crash in Nepal in September 2012 are once again demanding that the country launches a major review of flight safety, after yet another crash in the area.

Five passengers and two crewmembers escaped serious injuries in the air accident on Saturday (June 1st), when a Sita Air operated Dornier 228 reportedly touched down short of the runway at its destination of Simikot Airport, Humla, causing the nose and left main gear to collapse and the left wing to fracture.

This latest crash follows the catastrophic Sita Air Dornier 228 crash in September last year that killed all on board, shortly after take-off from Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport. 

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Aviation Law team represents a number of the British families who lost loved ones in that tragedy and is continuing to work to gain justice and answers for them in relation to the incident, which was the sixth fatal plane crash in Nepal over a two year period.

Jim Morris, former RAF pilot and Partner in the team at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Since the fatal Sita Air crash in September, we believe there have been three further crashes in Nepal.

“To see the continuation of such a rate of incidents within less than a year is a massive concern and this latest incident, another involving Sita Air, must be the catalyst for clear and decisive action to tackle aviation safety in the country.

“We and the families that we represent call on authorities in Nepal to recognise the concerns over aviation safety and ensure that a full review is carried out to prevent a repeat of the recent crashes which have occurred. Now is undoubtedly the time for steps to be taken to learn lessons from the past.”

Discussing the latest incident, Jim added: “The primary concern at present is that there is a thorough investigation of the latest accident and prompt publication of an accident report so that lessons can be learned.

“This needs to include a review of actions taken by the pilot, as well as assessment of the weather conditions and any technical or mechanical faults or issues which could have caused or contributed to this crash.

“Now is certainly not the time for speculation, but the time for clear answers and assurances from the Nepalese authorities that improvements in safety will be achieved.”

Angela Gaunt, from Warrington, who lost her husband Tim Oakes in the Sita Air crash in September, said: “As there have been further air accidents it appears that people’s lives are still being put at risk when flying in Nepal. This continuing flight safety record is totally unacceptable.

“Three more planes have crashed recently and whilst, fortunately, no one has been killed, people have been injured.  I am devastated as a result of the loss of my husband, Tim, in the September 2012 crash and would hate for anyone to have to go through the pain and grief that my family suffer on a daily basis”. 

Irwin Mitchell Aviation Law has over four decades of experience in handling aviation claims for passengers and crew involved in aviation accidents around the world. If you would like to speak in confidence to an expert regarding the Sita Air Crash visit our Sita Air Crash page for more information or our Air Accident Claims page for further details.