CAAN grounds all flights of Prabhu Helicopter after company’s chopper flown illegally to Everest

Published On: May 21, 2024 04:19 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 21: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has grounded all flights of Prabhu Helicopter and Sobit Gauchan, a senior captain of the company, for conducting an unauthorized flight from Kathmandu to Camp-2 under the Mount Everest region.

Mountaineer Nirmal Purja Magar (Nims Dai) illegally flew a helicopter on Mount Everest, landing at Camp 2, a location prohibited for helicopter flights, at 11:30AM on Sunday morning, according to Gyanendra Bhul, the information officer of CAAN.

According to eyewitnesses in the Everest region, Nirmal Purja took the helicopter by force, violating the rule that helicopters cannot be taken above the Everest base camp except for emergencies.

Contrary to the rules set by CAAN, Purja landed Prabhu’s helicopter A350 B3 with the callsign 9N-ANL directly from Lukla at Camp 2 of Mount Everest.

According to Bhul, Purja landed the helicopter in violation of aviation rules and the Supreme Court's order. The helicopter did not perform any rescue mission but flew from Kathmandu to the restricted area. Generally, passengers are not allowed to fly above the base camp, but it was found that the Prabhu helicopter carried passengers beyond this point. "The captain has now been grounded for violating the rule," he said.

The Supreme Court recently ordered a ban on helicopter flights on Mount Everest except for emergency purposes. This order was issued in response to a public interest litigation filed by advocate Deepak Bikram Mishra, with Justices Sapana Pradhan Malla and Sushma Lata Mathema issuing a restraining order.

CAAN has also requested an explanation from the company regarding this violation.


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