Yeti Airlines ATR-72 Crashes In Nepal, Killing Dozens

Yeti Airlines ATR-72 Crashes In Nepal, Killing Dozens

20

As reported by The Aviation Herald, two weeks into the new year, we’re seeing our first major commercial aircraft crash of the year… ugh.

Yeti ATR-72 crashes on approach to Pokhara

This incident happened today (January 15, 2023) at roughly 11AM local time, and involves Yeti Airlines flight YT691, which was scheduled to operate a domestic 91-mile flight in Nepal, from Kathmandu (KTM) to Pokhara (PKR). The flight was operated by a roughly 16-year-old ATR-72 with the registration code 9N-ANC. For what it’s worth, the plane started flying for Yeti Airlines in 2019, and previously flew for Kingfisher Airlines and Nok Air.

While information is fairly limited as of now, the plane crashed while on approach to runway 12 at Pokhara International Airport. Specifically, the aircraft stalled, and then fell into a ravine and burst into flames, just over one nautical mile ahead of the runway threshold.

It’s believed that there were 69 passengers onboard, and so far 68 bodies have been recovered. Heartbreaking… may their souls rest in peace.

Below is some video footage you can see from the ground, showing the plane stalling, shortly before crashing (use your own discretion as to whether or not you want to see the video — it doesn’t show the actual point of impact, though).

Then below you can see some video footage of the crash site.

What caused this Yeti Airlines ATR-72 crash?

While we’ll have to wait for a full investigation to find out what happened, there is one interesting fact that immediately raises some eyebrows. The new Pokhara International Airport opened on January 1, 2023, replacing the city’s previous domestic airport.

The Yeti Airlines ATR-72 crashed between the two airports, so one has to wonder if the new airport having recently opened was a factor here. Yeti Airlines pilots are incredibly familiar with Nepal’s airports and approach procedures, given how frequently they fly between them. At a minimum, I think it’s safe to say that this particular approach was a fairly new one for them, given that the airport had just opened two weeks earlier.

Based on looking at the video, I can’t help but notice that the engines weren’t making very much noise (they appear to be near idle), and that the flaps didn’t seem to be fully down for landing. How that factors into what happened remains to be seen.

While Nepal can be an incredibly dangerous place to fly, due to the terrain and rapidly evolving weather, the reports from this morning show that conditions were quite good in Pokhara.

For those not familiar with the airline, Yeti Airlines was founded in 1998, and operated a fleet of five ATR-72 aircraft (now four). Yeti Airlines has a mixed safety record. Between 2004 and 2008, the airline had three separate fatal crashes. Since then, the airline has only had a couple of runway excursions, neither of which caused any serious injuries.

Bottom line

A Yeti Airlines ATR-72 crashed while on approach to Pokhara Airport today. The weather conditions were good, though the plane seemed to stall, causing it to crash a bit over a mile short of the runway. Interestingly Pokhara just transitioned airports a couple of weeks ago, as the city closed its old domestic airport and opened its new international airport.

My thoughts are with all of those onboard and their families. What an awful tragedy.

What do you make of this Yeti Airlines crash?

Conversations (20)
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  1. DanielDare Guest

    Although there's been lots of talk on the news about the old & new airports
    considering that the new airport
    (which the aircraft was heading for)
    is effectively at 90 degrees to the old one
    I don't imagine that their proximity to eachother is of any significance to this tragedy.?

  2. DanielDare Guest

    Judging by the high angle of the aircraft,
    I'd suggest that the pilots had realised or been warned
    that their aircraft was close to stalling
    & were attempting to mitigate it
    whilst the engines spooled-up to power.?

    Sadly, all to late to save the situation...

  3. Thomas Guest

    From the clips available, this looks like a classic Vmc (minimum controllable speed) roll: one engine out or at idle, have to keep the flaps up to keep the speed up, but lost enough speed to completely lose lift and control over the wing with the inoperative engine.

  4. Vincent Brannigan Guest

    I taught safety regulation at the University at u of Maryland and regularly cover the ATR . (not a pilot) I f you are a pilot commenting on the flaps please say so. This was a heavily loaded aircraft . Would the flaps be at 15, 20 or higher ?

  5. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The FB live video from inside the cabin is just heart stopping to watch. Technology has allowed us to cross alot of frontiers but witnessing an aircraft crash that was completely fatal is perhaps something that has never been done before.

    1. Joe Guest

      Absolutely terrifying - honestly wish I hadn’t just searched for and watched it. Certain things that I think we just don’t need technology to give us in this modern age we live in, this was definitely one of them.

    2. Edgar Guest

      Totally agree. This video is so disturbing and eerie when you think it was the final seconds of their lives. What struck me was that it seems everyone died instantly as there are no more sounds of agony or screms. Terrible...

  6. bp Guest

    Instantly reminded me of this ATR-72 crash...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKNREZ_u8E8

    1. Eskimo Guest

      TransAsia was another tragic accident, compounded by human error.

      We'll have to wait for the investigation on this crash.

  7. Jim Guest

    I was just in Nepal few days ago and flew on yeti from Pokhara to Kathmandu and Buddha airline from ktm to Pokhara and I flew on yeti from Pokhara to Kathmandu few days ago . It is not due to the mountains or weather . The flight is a perfect flight with no turbulence. What I hate is they charge $100 for American passport holders while Nepalese only pay around $30. The problem is...

    I was just in Nepal few days ago and flew on yeti from Pokhara to Kathmandu and Buddha airline from ktm to Pokhara and I flew on yeti from Pokhara to Kathmandu few days ago . It is not due to the mountains or weather . The flight is a perfect flight with no turbulence. What I hate is they charge $100 for American passport holders while Nepalese only pay around $30. The problem is these planes are extremely old second hand used planes with poor maintenance record . The domestic flights are such that you can arrive at at airport at 1:50 pm and easily able to fly on 2 pm flight .

    1. susan Guest

      Sorry, but many people just died and one of your first comments is how much things cost bothers you . Wow.

    2. John Guest

      Jim,

      This is why there's that old adage about not talking about money, because it's considered impolite. But in this situation, it's even worse and doubly inappropriate. Because many people have died. Died. So I hope you can see how talk of airfares in this context looks so...trivial.

    3. Rotuma Diamond

      It’s quite possible that the low fares for locals are part of the reason for the crash. Poor maintenance and pilots with inadequate skills are common problems with budget carriers. It’s pretty hard to stall an airplane on a clear day without difficult instrument procedures distracting the pilots. Attention to airspeed is critical and a very basic part of piloting. I’ve seen some first officers who have a problem with that, but even if the...

      It’s quite possible that the low fares for locals are part of the reason for the crash. Poor maintenance and pilots with inadequate skills are common problems with budget carriers. It’s pretty hard to stall an airplane on a clear day without difficult instrument procedures distracting the pilots. Attention to airspeed is critical and a very basic part of piloting. I’ve seen some first officers who have a problem with that, but even if the FO was flying, the captain should have been calling out speed warnings.

    4. Indopithecus Guest

      Jim, what a disgusting and inappropriate comment. Have you no humanity? Who the f... cares about American passport holders when people have perished. Just think if you had a brother, sister, child or wife on that plane. Unbelievable.

      You are pissed off that Americans are charged more. Do you know how much America charges for visas from people travelling from poor countries? These applications are often denied and the applicants lose their money.

    5. EK_engineer Guest

      My thoughts and prayers are with you, Jim. That extra $70 you had to pay is a cruel and terrible loss. No one should suffer the pain and anguish you feel. Please pass my sympathies to your wallet and/or credit card too. Their literal emptiness can never be measured. Your loss is our loss too. We feel, we share, we pray for you in this your time of tragic monetary devastation. Amen.
      #Pray for Jim's Wallet

  8. Kyle Guest

    The more tragic video is the one of the Facebook live of a passenger.

    1. bruh Guest

      All those smiles and passengers looking excitedly out of the window, not knowing they were approaching the last seconds of their lives.

      That video is genuinely scarring.

  9. Lee Guest

    While the video is quite short and it is challenging to see, it appears the aircraft's flaps were not down.

    1. Brett Guest

      I went frame by frame and could not confirm flaps down, when compared to an ATR picture in the landing config. I don't know the ATR per se, but with one mile to the runway threshold, I am assuming he should be in a landing config with flaps. As far as pilot Delta Sierra's, that is as likely as being properly config'd and stalling it on approach; neither screwup speaks highly of the piloting on this day.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

susan Guest

Sorry, but many people just died and one of your first comments is how much things cost bothers you . Wow.

4
Tim Dunn Diamond

The FB live video from inside the cabin is just heart stopping to watch. Technology has allowed us to cross alot of frontiers but witnessing an aircraft crash that was completely fatal is perhaps something that has never been done before.

3
Kyle Guest

The more tragic video is the one of the Facebook live of a passenger.

3
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