System snag hits eastern airport

Devices that help transmit the information about a plane’s distance and direction from the airport tower to the cockpit have gone haywire at Biratnagar Airport after Sunday’s accident. Pilots have been notified to follow Visual Flight Rule (VFR) for three days to steer their planes to Biratnagar till the Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) and Non Direction Beacon (NDB) are fixed.

Under VFR, pilots guide the plane based on their sight, flight skill and experience. The weather has to be clear for making flights under the VFR. Usually, planes are guided according to Instrumental Flight Rule, where pilots should guide planes based on the aircraft’s instrument panel. It is safe and reliable.

“We had to resort to VFR after the airport’s DME and NDB were broken,” said Sudhir Chaudhary of Civil Aviation Corporation, Biratnagar. “ Under the VFR, flights will have to be cancelled when the weather is bad.” On Sunday, Biratnagar Airport had suddenly gone powerless after the airfield’s power supply board blew up due to a short-circuit.

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