Nepal Plane Crash


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Rescuers gather at the site of a plane crash in Pokhara on January 15, 2023. – At least 67 people were confirmed dead on January 15 when a plane with 72 on board crashed in Nepal, police said, in the Himalayan country’s deadliest aviation disaster in three decades. (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP) (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP via Getty Images)

     A plane crash in Nepal resulted in 72 deaths, including passengers and crew, on January 15, 2023, making it the deadliest plane crash in Nepal in three decades.

      The Yeti Airlines Flight 691 crashed just minutes before landing in a ravine near the town of Pokhara at 10:50 a.m. According to the Nepal Civil Aviation, the plane had been approaching the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu after completing a 27-minute flight.

      Of the 72 passengers, two of them were U.S. citizens, and two of them were lawful permanent residents. Additionally, 37 passengers were men, 25 were women, and three children and three infants were present on the plane. It was determined by the aviation authority that 15 passengers were foreign nationals. There had been five Indians, two South Koreans, four Russians, one from France, one from Australia, one from Argentina, and one from Ireland.
    In an attempt to rescue possible survivors, two helicopters were quick to the site of the crash alongside a ground team consisting of the Nepal Army, Armed Police Forces, and the Nepal Police.

      According to the Associated Press, a possible cause of the crash could have been the fact that the Pokhara airport lacks a sufficient landing system. Nepal is known for its unsafe territories when it comes to air travel. Data from the Aviation Safety Network shows that airplane crashes in Nepal have killed 357 people since 2000. 

     Authorities blame Nepal’s history of aviation accidents on unpredictable weather and mountainous terrain. Reportedly, this plays a major role in the loss of over 900 people since 1955.

      President and CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation, Hassan Shahidi, mentioned that “typically, a controlled flight into terrain is due to the fact that there is nothing wrong with the plane, other than the crew or pilots not being able to see the mountain and its peaks.”

      Monday, Jan. 16 was declared a public holiday to mourn the victims and Nepal’s Yeti Airlines canceled all regular flights scheduled in honor of those who passed due to the crash. 

      The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has counted at least 68 aviation accidents in the country since 1955. Including the crash on Jan. 15, 44 of the accidents have been considered deadly. 

      Aviation expert, Sanjeev Gautam, explained that “the unpredictable weather changes in the high terrains between takeoff and landing is the reason for most accidents. In these routes, most domestic flights use visual flight rules (VFR) in which the pilot controls and navigates the plane using visual references from outside.” 

      On the topic of weather, Gautam added that “Following VFR rules accurately is not possible in our weather conditions. For example, the rules say not to enter the clouds but sometimes it is impossible to avoid them. Hence pilots take the risks of breaking the rules.”

      The plane crash that took place on Jan. 15 was a deadly mishap due to the possible factors of rough weather and an insufficient landing system. Resulting in one of Nepal’s deadliest plane crashes.