Video shows final moments before deadly Nepal plane crash
A video has captured the final moments before a plane crashed while attempting to land in Pokhara, Nepal, on Sunday. (Sonu Jaiswal via Reuters)
A January plane crash in Nepal that killed 72 people – including two Americans and two lawful U.S. permanent residents – was likely caused by its pilots mistakenly cutting the power, according to a report by government-appointed investigators released on Thursday.
The deadly decision resulted in an aerodynamic stall and then the Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu to the tourist town of Pokhara plummeted into a gorge in the foothills of the Himalayas.
The January 15 crash was the country’s most deadly airline disaster in 30 years.
Rescuers scour the crash site in the wreckage of a passenger plane in Pokhara, Nepal, on January 16, 2023. The Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu plummeted into a gorge, killing all 72 on board. The crash was likely caused by the pilots mistakenly cutting the power by putting the condition levers in the feathering position. (AP Photo/Yunish Gurung)
NEPAL CRASH: VIDEO FROM INSIDE PLANE SHOWS PASSENGERS’ FINAL MOMENTS
There were 72 people on the twin-engine aircraft, an ATR 72, including two infants, four crew and 15 foreign nationals. There were no survivors.
“The most probable cause of the accident is determined to be the inadvertent movement of both condition levers to the feathered position in flight, which resulted in feathering of both propellers and subsequent loss of thrust, leading to an aerodynamic stall and collision with terrain,” the report states.
Dipak Prasad Bastola, an aeronautical engineer and a member of the investigating panel, told Reuters that due to lack of awareness and lack of standard operating procedures, the pilots had put the condition levers, which control power, in the feathering position, instead of selecting the flap lever.
This led the engine to “run idle and not produce thrust,” Bastola told Reuters. “But due to its momentum, the aircraft flew for up to 49 seconds before hitting the ground.”
An image of the ill-fated Yeti Airlines ATR 72 aircraft registration 9N-ANC, that crashed in January, is pictured here landing safely at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal on April 2022. (Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
ATR is based in France and the plane’s engines were manufactured in Canada by Pratt & Whitney Canada.
The report also listed a lack of appropriate technical and skill-based training, high workload and stress due to operating into a new airport, and non-compliance with standard operating procedures as contributing factors to the incident. The crew also missed associated flight deck and engine indications that both propellers had been feathered, the report states.
The report went on to state that the aircraft had been properly maintained, had no known defects and that the cockpit crew had been qualified in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal.
Nepalese rescue workers inspect wreckage at the site of the plane crash in Pokhara, Nepal, on January 16, 2023. The crash was likely caused by the pilots mistakenly cutting the power by putting the condition levers in the feathering position.
DOZENS KILLED IN NEPAL PLANE CRASH AFTER AIRCRAFT PLUMMETS INTO RIVER GORGE
Footage taken from inside the aircraft showed passengers chatting as the plane started making its descent. Video of the crash taken by eyewitnesses then showed the plane’s wing dropping aggressively before slamming into the ground.
It was co-piloted by Anju Khatiwada, who had pursued years of pilot training in the United States after her husband died in a 2006 plane crash while flying for the same airline. The plane was under the command of senior captain Kamal KC.
Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Mount Everest, has a long and tragic history of air crashes. According to the Flight Safety Foundation’s Aviation Safety database, there have been 42 fatal plane crashes in Nepal since 1946.
A woman cries as the body of a relative, victim of a plane crash, is brought to a hospital in Pokhara, Nepal, Sunday, January 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Yunish Gurung)
CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The January crash was Nepal’s worst aircraft disaster since 1992, when a Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A300 crashed into a hillside on approach to Kathmandu, killing all 167 people on board.
January’s passenger list included 53 Nepali citizens, five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, one Australian, one Argentinian, one Irish and one French, Nepali authorities said.
The European Union has banned Nepali airlines from its airspace since 2013, citing safety concerns, according to Reuters.
Fox News’ Greg Norman, Pilar Arias, Anders Hagstrom, as well as Reuters contributed to this report.
Michael Dorgan is a writer for Fox News Digital and Fox Business.
You can send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @M_Dorgan.