(IntegrityPress.org) – A plane crash in January 2023 in the mountains of Nepal was due to pilot error according to crash investigators appointed by the Nepalese government. The Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara resulted in the deaths of all 72 souls on board, including two Americans and two infants.
Investigators said that the pilots likely adjusted the wrong lever while in flight, resulting in a critical loss of power to the engines and a collision with the ground less than a minute later. They moved propeller levers into the “feathered” position which cut power to the engines, resulting in a loss of forward thrust. Investigators said that they likely intended to adjust the flap lever which is adjacent to the feathering control and would have allowed the plane to gain height and avoid collision.
Investigator Dipak Prasad Bastola, himself an aeronautical engineer, said that the accident could have been caused by a simple lack of awareness and a failure to maintain standard operating procedures. He said that the plane continued to fly for 49 seconds after the power was cut from the engines due to momentum.
Their final report listed a lack of technical skills, training protocols, and high workload as contributing factors. The pilots were overworked and stressed as well as working out of a new airport. Investigators said that the pilots missed notifications on the flight deck and engine controls that there was a problem.
The report said that the plane was properly maintained at the time of the accident and there were no known or discovered technical defects. The crew was also fully accredited and qualified according to Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority.
Video taken inside the plane shows a relatively normal scene where the videographer captures some homes the aircraft is flying over. Video of the crash taken from the ground showed the plane falling out of the sky dramatically before slamming into the ground.
Nepal has a terrible record for aircraft accidents due to its difficult terrain. It is home to some of the tallest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest. The country has suffered 42 fatal air accidents and crashes since 1946 according to the Flight Safety Foundation. Nepali airlines have been banned from operating in the European Union since 2013, citing their tragic record.
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