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An accident every year: 11 plane accidents have occurred since 2010, do you know why the sky of Nepal is the era of planes?



Kathmandu: A Yeti Airlines jetliner with 72 people, including 5 Indians, crashed about 10 seconds before landing at Pokhara airport in Nepal. It is the deadliest plane crash in the Himalayan country in the past 30 years. So far, 60 people have been confirmed dead in the crash. According to officials, there is little hope of survival for any passenger in this plane crash. On average, there is about one plane crash in Nepal every year. The country has experienced at least 11 fatal plane crashes since 2010, including the latest. Before the Yeti Airlines plane crash on May 29 last year in Nepal, a Tara Air plane crashed in Mustang district, killing all 22 people on board.

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According to information shared by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Yeti Airlines ATR-72 plane crashed in the Seti River Gorge between the old and new Pokhara airport after having taken off from Kathmandu. A total of 72 people were on board the plane along with 14 foreign nationals and 4 crew members. 2 videos of the plane are making the buzz on social networks. In one video, the plane is seen plunging through the air for seconds before crashing. The second video was recorded by a passenger sitting inside the plane on his cell phone. It can be seen in this that it shows the clouds from inside the plane, only then the flames are visible and darkness prevails. There are narrow valleys between many high peaks, where it is sometimes very difficult to turn planes around.

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Let’s understand why it is so risky to fly a plane in the sky of Nepal?
Nepal – a small country located in the lap of the Himalayas, boasting of enchanting natural beauty. Its topography, low visibility and constantly changing weather conditions make it one of the most difficult regions in the world to fly an aircraft. There are many hard-to-reach airstrips in the country. Mountains are made by cutting them. The runways on these airstrips are short, there is not enough space. According to a Bloomberg report, Tenzing-Hillary Airport, northeast of Lukla, is one of the most dangerous airports in the world. There is only one track here, the slope of which is towards the valley.

According to an aviation safety report released in 2019 by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, ‘diverse weather conditions and hostile topography of the country are the main challenges for aviation operations in Nepal, due to which the number of accidents involving small aircraft … is relatively high. Due to being a mountainous country, the weather in Nepal changes very quickly. Sometimes the sky is clear, then suddenly it becomes foggy. In such a situation, there is a tough challenge in front of the pilot of the aircraft to perform a safe landing on the high altitude airstrips. Sometimes the airstrips are not visible due to fog, such a situation invites accidents. But the Yeti Airlines plane crash was not caused by bad weather, as officials said the skies were clear at the time of the crash.

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The Yeti Airlines plane was 15 years old
Meanwhile, flight tracking website FlightRadar24 mentioned in a tweet that the Yeti Airlines plane was 15 years old and fitted with old transponders with unreliable data. One of the reasons behind the excessive plane crashes in Nepal is the compromised safety standards there. According to a report, instead of buying new planes, Nepalese airlines buy their old planes at low prices from airlines in other countries and then put them into service after repairing and painting them. The lack of advanced radar technology is also a major cause of accidents. Nepal’s old planes don’t even have weather radars with modern technology. Because of this, the pilot does not even get the correct weather information.

Keywords: aeronautical news, Nepal, Plane crash