The pilot tried to bring the aircraft back to airport, but failed. Eyewitnesses say the aircraft belonging to Sita Air, a private operator, had caught fire before hitting the ground near the banks of the Manohara River in Bhaktapur town, close to the airport.
This is the second air crash this year in Nepal. In May, 15 people including 13 Indian tourists were killed when a Dornier aircraft crashed into a hill near Jomsom airport in north-central Nepal.
"Soon after the aircraft took off, the controller on the ground asked the pilot about unusual manoeuvering and he had mentioned being hit by a bird," said Tribhuwan International Airport general manager Ratish Chandra Lal Suman.