Summit Air Let L-410 Turbolet (9B-AMH) collided with a Manang Air AS350 helicopter (9N-ALC) on takeoff this morning at Lukla Airport in Nepal (below). Both aircraft burned. Reportedly three people were killed and five injured.
Summit Air issued this statement:
Summit Air regrets to inform that Lukla Airport has confirmed that our aircraft registered as 9N-AMH earlier in the morning today (April 14) had an accident during the takeoff roll from Lukla. The aircraft swung to the right and hit Manang Air helicopter at the helicopter parking area.
There were no passengers in the aircraft. Only three crew were on board. Captain R.B.Rokaya has sustained injuries and has already been brought to Kathmandu and admitted to hospital.
Unfortunately, our First Officer Sujit Dhungana sustained serious injuries and succumbed to the injuries. Furthermore, Mr. Ram Bdr. Khadka and Mr. Rudra Bdr Shrestha (Asst. Sub. Inspector) who was on duty at the helipad, also succumbed to the injuries.
Manang Air Captain Chet Bdr. Gurung who was in the helicopter when this accident occurred, also has been injured. Other injured crew members and ground personnel have been brought to Kathmandu.
Manoj Karki, Managing director of Summit Air added: “I am absolutely shocked. This is a very difficult moment for all of us at Summit Air. Our first priority now is the well-being of the injured persons and family members of those affected by this unfortunate accident.”
Summit Air started operations as Goma Air on Feburary 24, 2011. Summit Air started its operation with two Cessna 208B Grand Caravans. Summit Air started schedule operations after introduction of factory new LET 410 UVPE-20 STOL aircraft on October 2014, from its Kathmandu base.
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Videos: Flying into and out of Lukla Airport is always challenging. It is considered one of the most airports in the world.