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Nepal gets its own Aviation Museum ; Pilot in Nepal transforms crashed Turkish Airlines plane into a Museum

Through his small attempt, Captain Upreti hopes to inspire young minds to join the aviation industry and believes the museum will not only serve as a recreational spot, but also as an educational centre for students and aviation enthusiasts

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An image of the Aviation Museum as shared by Captain Bed Upreti
An image of the Aviation Museum as shared by Captain Bed Upreti on his Facebook account. Facebook

If you think that an old, dysfunctional airplane after a crash belongs only to the scrap then you are mistaken. A lot of redundant airplanes begin an alternate phase of life on the ground. And Turkish Airlines’ Airbus A330 is no different.

In March 2015, a Turkish Airlines’ airplane had crash-landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu after it had attempted to land amidst dense fog. With 224 passengers on board, Airbus A330 had nosedived on the runway and came to an abrupt stop.

While there were no casualties reported, the unfortunate mishap completely shut Nepal’s only international airport for over four days as the technicians struggled to move the plane from the tarmac.

As international air traffic suffered, the airplane was finally moved to a dysfunctional corner of the airport where the craft was left to rust for almost two years until pilot Bed Upreti came up with an idea.

A new Aviation Museum will soon be functional in Sinamangal in Nepal, housed inside the abandoned Turkish Airlines’ Airbus A330.

The Transformation

According to a report by AFP, pilot Bed Upreti has invested $600,000 to convert the rusting metal carcass into an aviation museum, the first of its kind in Nepal.

The first step in the line of action was to move the 63-metre airplane from the airport to the land plot that has been deputed for the establishment of the Aviation Museum.

A special team of engineers and technicians from Turkey worked on the airplane for over six weeks to dismantle the entire craft into pieces. It was then loaded onto trucks for the 500-meter journey to the other side of the road.

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If that was not enough, the team utilized another two months to put the pieces back together to compose one whole.

All these tasks were strictly undertaken during the night when the airport was closed, in order to sustain air traffic during the day.

The Inside of the Plane

The inside of the plane has been completely stripped off of seats to make space for visitors to move freely.

According to AFP report, the business class section of the airplane will have a model of the Wright Brothers’ first aircraft on display, which was the first machine to touch the sky. The report also entails that the tail of the airplane at the rear will have a café for the visitors.

The Aviation Museum in Sinamangal will have more than 150 miniature models of airplanes tracing the history of aviation on display. For the amused visitors, the museum will also tell the story of Nepal’s aviation industry.

Additionally, Captain Upreti had shared in a previous report to a leading portal that the museum will comprise simulators for pilots and also present a documentary highlighting the construction, and evolution of aircraft, along with an aerial photo gallery for aviation enthusiasts and visitors alike.

The Man Behind the Project: Captain Bed Upreti

Captain Bed Upreti is a commercial pilot who has experience of flying over India, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia and several other countries for more than 30 years.

Captain Upreti has also authored over a dozen books which include one of Nepal’s best sellers ‘Everest from the air’.

Bed Upreti had previously bought a forsaken Fokker 100, which is half the size of an Airbus A330 and had transformed it into an Aircraft museum in Dhanagadi, Nepal. However, that was much smaller in size than the new Aviation Museum that will soon be ready for the public.

aviation museum
Captain Bed Upreti. Facebook

Nepal, being a small nation, has an impoverished economy with a large mass of people who may never be able to afford the airfare. The Aviation Museum will serve as an easy access for them to experience what it is like to step inside a plane.

AFP quoted Shyan Rauniyar, an engineering student part of the team working on the replica of the Wright Brothers’ plane as saying, “It (the museum) will give a chance to some Nepalis who might never fly to step into a plane.”

The new aviation museum will represent the dreams of Nepal and its people. Through his small attempt, Captain Upreti hopes to inspire young minds to join the aviation industry and believes the Aviation Museum will not only serve as a recreational spot, but also as an educational center for students and aviation enthusiasts.

Next Story

Jet Airways Almost on The Brink of Shutdown, Facing Mounting Ground Problems

The possible scenario which may send the scrip plunging, say analysts, is if the bidders do not match up to the expectations of lenders or they lose interest after the initial Expression of Interest or the whole process gets entangled or delayed in the law courts.

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"In the case of other airlines facing stress, the government reacted differently largely because of their lower share on international routes," he added. Pixabay

BY: RAVI DUTTA MISHRA

From a fleet of 119 until last year to only 7 as of on Monday, Jet, once India’s second-largest airline by market share, is almost on the brink of a shutdown. But the change in fortune for the airline has not dented investor confidence as the Jet counter continues to remain resilient.

Jet’s scrip is down just by a little over 6 per cent since January 1 even though the airline’s performance has nose-dived ever since it defaulted on its loan commitment in December.

For Jet, the developments are unlike how things panned out for an airline like Kingfisher during its turbulent times that ultimately led to its closure. Analysts say that this is largely owing to Jet’s 30 per cent market share on international routes.

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Prior to the grounding which has depleted around 90 per cent of Jet’s fleet size, the airline, with its large fleet, offered flights to 56 destinations in India and overseas. Pixabay

“The government is keen that they should keep this entity afloat by selling it to other airline partners. This is also important as Jet accounts for 30 per cent market share on international routes,” Sandeep Raina, Associate Director, Edelweiss Professional Investor Research, told IANS.

“In the case of other airlines facing stress, the government reacted differently largely because of their lower share on international routes,” he added.

Prior to the grounding which has depleted around 90 per cent of Jet’s fleet size, the airline, with its large fleet, offered flights to 56 destinations in India and overseas.

Besides its international share, Jet has some valuable assets, said Deepak Jasani of HDFC Securities.

“It owns 16 planes which are worth $400 million. The Jet Privilege programme, the international routes, and landing and parking slots in key cities make the airline an attractive option for potential buyers or can be easily monetised by its lenders (under IBC),” he added.

However, the airline on Monday said it has extended the cancellation of all its international flights until April 18, which might spell trouble for it on the stock exchanges.

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Jet’s scrip is down just by a little over 6 per cent since January 1 even though the airline’s performance has nose-dived ever since it defaulted on its loan commitment in December. Pixabay

Inflating debt is another major concern for investors. Jet owes over Rs 8,000 crore to a consortium of lenders led by the state-run State Bank of India (SBI).

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The possible scenario which may send the scrip plunging, say analysts, is if the bidders do not match up to the expectations of lenders or they lose interest after the initial Expression of Interest or the whole process gets entangled or delayed in the law courts.

“If a non-strategic investor (including the National Infrastructure Investment Fund) wins the bid or the company needs to be nationalised or taken over by the government (through Air India or any other route)… in all such cases, its stock price could plunge,” said Jasani.(IANS)