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2001 Fishtail Air Eurocopter AS350 crash

Fishtail Air Eurocopter AS350 Crash
Helicopter rescue sancy takeoff.jpg
A Eurocopter AS350, similar to the one involved in the accident
Date12 November 2001
SiteRara Lake, Nepal
Aircraft typeEurocopter AS350 Écureuil
OperatorFishtail Air
Flight originGamgadhi Army Base, Nepal[1]
DestinationSurkhet, Nepal[2]

On 12 November 2001, a chartered Fishtail Air Eurocopter AS350 helicopter crashed on a flight from Gamgadhi Army Base to Surkhet in Western Nepal. The accident killed all 6 passengers and crew on board, including Princess Prekshya Shah of Nepal.


The helicopter involved with the accident was a Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil, which Princcess Prekshya chartered from Nepalgunj.[2]

Crew and victims

On board the helicopter was Princess Prekshya Shah of Nepal, the younger sister of Queen Aishwarya of Nepal and Queen Komal of Nepal as well as her doctor and security personnel among other acquaintances of the Princess.[3][4]


The helicopter took off at 11:25 NPT on 12 November 2001 from Gamgadhi Army Base. Shortly afterwards, the helicopter plunged into Rara Lake.[5] Two passengers were flung out of the aircraft mid air.[1] According to the Nepali Times, the Princess asked the pilot to "circle over Rara so she could get a better view of the lake when the craft dropped down into the lake while turning".[1]


Personnel from a near by army base took 45 minutes to reach the crash site. Rescue helicopters were deployed and the Princeliness's body was recovered from the water.[6] At first, authorities assumed that there was only one survivor,[2] however, two passengers could be saved and were flown into hospitals in the Nepalgunj.[7][1][3]


In 2009, then Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal alleged that the helicopter crash was directly linked to the Nepalese royal massacre.[8] However, this could not be proven.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d Khatri, Rishi (16 November 2001). "The princess had asked the pilot to circle Rara for a better view..." The Nepali Times. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Nepal princess killed in helicopter crash". CNN. 12 November 2001. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Nepal princess killed in air crash". BBC. 12 November 2001. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  4. ^ Sarkar, Sudeshna (17 April 2009). "Nepal palace massacre linked to princess' chopper crash death". IANS. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  5. ^ "Nepali princess dies in helicopter crash". Irish Times. 12 November 2001. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Princess dies in helicopter crash". The Telegraph. 12 November 2001. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Nepali Princess dies in helicopter crash". UPI. 12 November 2001. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  8. ^ "After royal massacre, Prachanda hints at another royal murder". The Times of India. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2018.