June 22, 2015 – Gorkha
A Simrik Air chopper carrying 4 passengers overturned and caught in flames in Samdo village in Gorkha today. The helicopter chartered by International Medical Corps (IMC) for the facilitation and transportation of earthquake relief materials tried to land in a slope when it got out of control and overturned. The 4 passengers and the pilot got lucky as they made a narrow escape into safety.
According to Narayan Prasad Acharya, one of the passengers in the helicopter and the Chief of Division of Drinking Water and Sanitation in Gorkha, the incident occurred as a result of ignorance of the captain Surendra Poudel. The chopper had climbed out from Namjildanda in Gorkha and was bound for Samagaun. However, the captain tried to land the chopper in a slope in Samdo village, which also happens to be in the Samagaun VDC.
According to the local eyewitnesses, the rotor of the helicopter, an AS350 with callsign 9N-AKF, first stroke a stone and flames began to appear. It soon got out of control and overturned as it was taking off from the narrow slope. The chopper was seen in flames for almost an hour of the incident.
This is the second aviation incident in Nepal this month involving a helicopter. Earlier in June, a Mountain Helicopters chopper crashed in Sindhupalchowk, killing all 4 on board.