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13 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Dash-8 Q400: the ill-fated aircraft

Staff Reporter

The ill-fated US-Bangla Airlines aircraft (Flight BS211) that crashed at Tribhuvan International airport in Nepal’s Kathmandu killing at least 50 on board, was a Bombardier Dash-8 Q400. Data from tracking website Flightradar24.com showed the aircraft was 17 years old.

The aircraft had two earlier operators. It was first delivered to Scandinavian Airlines in 2001, then it was sold to Augsburg Airways in 2008 before being sold to US-Bangla Airlines in 2014. The only other fatal crash involving a Dash 8 Q400 turboprop aircraft took place on October 1, 2009, when a Continental Connection flight crashed into a house in Clarence Center, New York, while preparing to land at the airport in Buffalo  killing all 50 on board. The US National Transportation Safety Board later determined that the aircraft had no known mechanical or computer malfunctions, and pilot error, including a “startle and confusion” response by the captain, was the main cause of the accident. According to Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, that was the first fatal crash involving this type of plane.

Earlier, three Dash 8 Q-400 planes, owned by SAS Airlines, were involved in crash landings in Scandinavia due to problems with landing gear in a span of 45 days in 2007. Scandinavian Airlines later decided not to fly the Dash-8 Q400. It was later found that the faulty landing gear in its planes were due to inadequate maintenance and not the fault of the aircraft.

Currently manufactured by Bombardier of Canada, the Dash-8 planes are twin-engine turbo prop used for short to medium range (about 500 miles or less) flights, and hold a decent safety record. The Dash-8 model was introduced in 1984 and the stretched and improved 70–78 passenger version Q400 in 2000. The Q400 has a 360 knot (667 km/h) cruise speed and a maximum operating altitude of 25,000 ft (7,600 m) for the standard version.

Bombardier is the world’s third-largest maker of civil aircraft. So far they have built over 1,000 Dash 8s of all models.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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