(English) Illegal chopper ride on Everest: report

Mt. Everest file photo. Image source: agency
Mt. Everest file photo. Image source: agency

KATHMANDU, Nepal– A high-level panel formed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal found that Fishtail Air conducted number of flights above the Base Camp on May 8, 10, 14, 18 and 25, while Simrik Air operated 9N-AKF on April 26 for a short trip to the higher camps.

“These routine flights were conducted as per the Air Operator Certificate issued by Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN),” an investigation panel that was formed to probe into the illegal ride of chopper on Everest concluded with its report.

The probe panel which was constituted two weeks ago has also recommended the government to come up with a strict rule to ban unchecked use of copters above Mt Everest Base Camp, asking the authorities to give permit such flights in case of emergency and rescue missions.

The panel that studied the flights made by different companies from April 18 to May 31 above the Base Camp also suggested that CAAN’s permission should be made mandatory to conduct flights for other purposes in the region.

A three-member probe panel led by senior pilot Gunj Man Lama was formed on May 28 after Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation ordered CAAN to probe rampant use of choppers in the Everest region.

CAAN has already forwarded its report to the ministry for further action.

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