Thai Airways International Flight 311

Thai Airways International Flight 311

Airliner Accident
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Thai Airways International Flight 311

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Thai Airways International Flight 311 was a flight from Bangkok, Thailand's Don Mueang International Airport to Kathmandu, Nepal's Tribhuvan International Airport. On 31 July 1992, an A310-304 on the route, registration HS-TID, crash on approach to Tribhuvan. All 113 on board were killed.

Flight 311 departed Don Mueang at 10:30 AM local time. After crossing into Nepalese airspace the pilots contacted air traffic control and were cleared to an instrument approach from the south called the "Sierra VOR Circling Approach" for Runway 20. Nepalese ATC at the time was not equipped with radar.

Shortly after reporting the Sierra fix ten miles south of the Kathmandu VOR, the aircraft called ATC asking for a diversion to Calcutta, India because of a "technical problem"; before ATC could reply, the flight rescinded their previous transmission. The flight was then cleared for a straight-in Sierra approach to Runway 02 and told to report leaving 9,500 feet. The captain asked numerous times for the winds and visibility at the airport but ATC merely told him that Runway 02 was available.

A number of frustrating and misleading communications (due partly to language problems and partly to the inexperience of the air traffic controller, who was a trainee with only nine months on the job) ensued between air traffic control and the pilots regarding Flight 311's altitude and distance from the airport. The captain asked four times for permission to turn left, but after receiving...
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