KATHMANDU, Feb 13: Though NAC now has four Harbin Y 12-e aircraft in its fleet, the national flag carrier has only one pilot two command the aircraft.
Of the NAC pilots, only Captain Nripendra Bhattarai and four co-pilots can fly the Harbin Y 12-e.
Till some months ago, NAC had five captains to operate the aircraft. But instructor pilot Ang Nuri Sherpa has already tendered registration, while senior pilot Sanjaya Bade Shrestha is on sick leave. Similarly, Captain Uddhav Ghimire is not authorized to fly as his flying license has not been updated. Likewise, another pilot, Captain Anishman Shakya, has also resigned.
Liberty Bhandari, Srijana Raut, Prachanda Khadka, Rakesh Kumar Kaphle, Bijaya Awale, Rabin KC and Mahesh Raj Pandey are the co-pilots who can fly Harbin Y 12-e. However, Khadka and Pandey cannot fly the aircraft as the former has not passed the Pilot Proficiency Check, while the latter does not have adequate flying hours.
According to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) rule, airline companies should have five pilots - two captain and three co-pilots or three captains and two co-pilots - per small aircraft.