The pilot of the plane that crashed in Nepal killing seven Britons had complained to a relative that flights on the airline were often overloaded and that a nearby slum attracted birds to the runway, the Daily Telegraph reports.
According to the newspaper, Rajendra Upreti, a relative of Thakashi Thapa, who started working for Sita Air two years ago, told the Times: 'He said pilots don't load the planes.'
'It's only when they start flying that they realise they are overloaded.'
Mr Upreti said that Mr Thapa, 25, had complained about officials routinely flouting basic safety rules and failing to tackle the bird problems, which pilots had complained about for years.
The German-made Dornier plane may have struck a bird seconds before the crash, which took place shortly after take-off.
The stricken aircraft was apparently steered at very low altitude back to the runway for an emergency landing when it crashed, just missing a slum.
Officials from Britain's Air Accident Investigation Board were sifting through wreckage and collecting evidence at the crash scene.
Nepalese investigators said they were focusing on the theory that the bird strike had damaged the tail fin.
Deependra Shahi, manager of Sita Air, said the aircraft was inspected and signed off the day before the crash by one of the company's engineers, and the airline's head of flight safety, Sagar Acharya, denied the aircraft was carrying too much weight.
Meanwhile, a minute's silence was held for marathon runner Ray Eagle, one of the British trekkers killed in the crash, at the beginning of the half-marathon in Macclesfield.
Pilot error 'likely cause' of Nepal plane crash
Watch: Passenger captures terrifying mid-air plane crash on video
Tourists shocked as plane nosedives and crashes at air show
Sign up to our weekly newsletterFollow us on TwitterBecome a fan on Facebook