At least three people were killed and four others injured on Sunday, April 14, after a Summit Air plane crashed into a parked chopper during takeoff at the Tenzing-Hillary airport, also known as Lukla airport in Khumbu region of eastern Nepal's Solukhumbu district.
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.
Pandey said the accident occurred at around 9:10 a.m. local time at Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, a major gateway to Mount Everest.
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Aviation Safety Network (ASN) database in its preliminary report stated that there were no passengers in the aircraft but recorded that the co-pilot and two police officials standing on the ground died of fatal injuries, and the four injured are now receiving treatment at Kathmandu's Grande Hospital. The Summir Air plane was reportedly en route to Kathmandu from Lukla.
"All injured have been airlifted to Kathmandu and they are undergoing treatment at Grande Hospital", Pandey was quoted as saying. Both are private airline firms that cater to tourists and Nepalese in the country's remote areas.
It is speculated that the captain could have allowed the co-pilot to take the reins as the flight was not carrying any passengers.
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Among the dead were the pilot of the plane and two police officers who were near the parked helicopter.
Air crashes are common in mostly mountainous Nepal, home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountain peaks, including Mount Everest. The airfield is notorious for its short runway and perilous approach, sitting at an elevation of over 2,800 meters.
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