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A Yeti Airlines ATR72-500. (Photo: Yeti Airlines)

Yeti Airlines ATR-72 Crashes in Nepal

An ATR 72-500 belonging to Nepal’s Yeti Airlines with 72 people on board crashed in Nepal on Sunday, January 15. The aircraft was flying from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu to Pokhara in central Nepal. Unfortunately, of the sixty-eight passengers and four crew members, there would be no survivors.

January 15 is a national holiday in Nepal, Makar Sankranti of a Buddhist-Hindu type, with a harvest celebration and observed for three days: Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal and Mattu Pongal.

As shown in a video shared by Diwas Bohora on social media, the low-flying plane is seen suddenly making a turn before crashing to the ground near the Seti River. The reason for the sudden turn clearly is still unknown and will only be clarified once the investigation is completed. Meanwhile, Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal urged security personnel and the public to help in the rescue operation.

The aircraft manufacturer, ATR, shared on its social media that it is aware of the accident in Nepal and that it involved one of its aircraft, adding that “our first thoughts are with all those affected by this accident. ATR specialists are fully committed to supporting both the investigation and the customer.”

Yeti Airlines Notice on their website.

Unfortunately, Nepali airlines do not have a good safety record, so much so that the European Union has banned Nepali planes from plying European skies since 2014, citing air safety problems. However, according to the latest reports in 2022, Nepali aviation had greatly improved aviation safety, so much so that there had been talk of removing Nepali airlines from the European air safety blacklist.

In 2022, ICAO had shown that Nepal’s aviation sector had shown that the global average flight safety rate was 67 percent and that of Asia-Pacific was 63 percent, but Nepal had performed better at 70.1 percent. However, ICAO had already removed Nepal from the Serious Security Concerns (SSC) list in July 2017.

This disaster certainly lowers the average flight safety rate in Nepal again, and unfortunately causes more aviation fatalities.

The author and the entire editorial staff of AirlineGeeks join the grief of the families of the victims involved in the tragic accident.

Author

  • Vincenzo Claudio Piscopo

    Vincenzo graduated in 2019 in Mechanical Engineering with an aeronautical curriculum, focusing his thesis on Human Factors in aircraft maintenance. In 2022 he pursued his master's degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Palermo, Italy. He combines his journalistic activities with his work as a Safety and Reliability Engineer for Teoresi Group at Leonardo S.p.A.

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