A Dornier Do-228-200 twin-turboprop crashed this morning, three minutes after taking off from Tribhuvan airport in Kathmandu, a Nepal police spokesman confirms.
The aircraft, operated by Sita Air and bearing registration 9N-AHA, took off from Tribhuvan at 06:17 local time. It was operating on the Tribhuvan-Lukla route.
Shortly after take-off, however, the pilot noticed "abnormalities" in the aircraft and requested to return to Tribhuvan airport, police spokesman Binod Singh tells Flightglobal.
"He had received permission from air traffic control to land but crashed before it could return to the airport," he says, adding that the weather was clear.
The aircraft crashed into the banks of Manohara River, about 2km from the airport, at 06:20 local time. Witnesses say they spotted fire on the tail of the turboprop, says Singh.
None of the 19 people onboard – three crew, seven British, five Chinese and four Nepalese, survived.
Lukla is a popular tourist destination near Mount Everest.
According to Flightglobal Pro, Sita Air received its air operator’s certificate in 2000 and launched services in February 2003 with a single Dornier Do-228K turboprop. The Kathmandu-based carrier operates two Do-228-200s, with a third in storage.
In May, an Agni Air Dornier 228-200 turboprop also crashed in Nepal. The aircraft was attempting to land at Jomson airport in northwest Nepal when it crashed, killing 15 of the 21 people onboard
Flightglobal's Accident Database