NEPAL- The committee assigned to probe the Pokhara aircraft crash involving Yeti Airlines last year presented its findings to the government on Thursday, attributing the accident’s cause to human error.
Yeti Airlines’ ATR-72 aircraft with registration 9N-ANC met with an accident on January 15, crashing on the bank of the Seti River, situated between the old and new airports, just minutes before landing.
Yeti Airlines Crash in Nepal Report
According to a report from Nepal’s official news agency RSS, the five-member Investigation Commission, formed in the aftermath of the crash, concluded that the incident on January 15, 2023, resulted from human error.
Among the 72 individuals on board during the plane crash, five were Indian nationals: Abhisekh Kushwaha (25), Bishal Sharma (22), Anil Kumar Rajbhar (27), Sonu Jaiswal (35), and Sanjaya Jaiswal (26).
The committee, led by former Secretary Nagendra Prasad Ghimire, submitted its findings to Minister Sudan Kirati of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation.
The investigation, spanning eight months and three days, resulted in the comprehensive report presented by the Commission.
Constituted on the day of the plane crash, the five-member probe commission comprised retired Nepali Army captain Deepak Prakash Bastola, retired Captain Sunil Thapa, aeronautical engineer Ekraj Jung Thapa, and Joint-Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane.
Minister Kirati issued directives for the strict implementation of the Probe Commission’s recommendations across relevant bodies.
The tragic incident involving Yeti Airlines in Pokhara marked the 104th crash in Nepali skies and ranked as the third-largest in terms of casualties.
The report delves into the sequence of events that led to the accident:
- Technical Condition and Weather: The aircraft, departing from Kathmandu at 10:51 am en route to Pokhara, experienced no technical problems. Weather conditions, visibility, and other factors at Pokhara International Airport were reported as normal.
- Normal Operations: The takeoff, cruise, and initial landings proceeded without any anomalies. The Air Traffic Controller assigned Runway 30 for the aircraft’s landing during their communication.
- Unusual Runway Change: Despite the initial assignment of Runway 30, the crew chose to change the runway and sought permission to land on Runway 12, which was also deemed suitable for landing.
- Rapid Descent: The critical moment occurred when the aircraft rapidly descended from 6,500 feet to 721 feet. Attempts to regain altitude proved unsuccessful, as the speed remained constant, ultimately leading to the inability to recover and resulting in the crash.
- Tragic Outcome: The aircraft plunged into the Seti gorge upon impact with the ground and immediately caught fire. Regrettably, all 72 passengers, including four crew members, lost their lives.
The investigation highlights a departure from standard procedures, emphasizing the crew’s decision to change the runway and the subsequent failure to manage the descent effectively.
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