Yeti Airlines Flight 691

Yeti Airlines Flight 691
Yeti Airlines ATR-72 9N-ANC.jpg
9N-ANC, the aircraft involved in the accident, eight months before the crash
Accident
Date15 January 2023; 15 days ago (2023-01-15)
SummaryCrashed on approach, under investigation
SiteNear Pokhara International Airport, Pokhara, Nepal
28°11′51″N 83°59′06″E / 28.19750°N 83.98500°E / 28.19750; 83.98500Coordinates: 28°11′51″N 83°59′06″E / 28.19750°N 83.98500°E / 28.19750; 83.98500
Aircraft
Aircraft typeATR 72-500
OperatorYeti Airlines
IATA flight No.YT691
ICAO flight No.NYT691
Call signYETI AIRLINES 691
Registration9N-ANC
Flight originTribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal
DestinationPokhara International Airport, Pokhara, Nepal
Occupants72
Passengers68
Crew4
Fatalities72
Survivors0

Yeti Airlines Flight 691 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara in Nepal. On 15 January 2023, the aircraft being operated on the route, an ATR 72 flown by Yeti Airlines, crashed while landing at Pokhara, killing all 72 occupants on board. It is the deadliest accident involving an ATR 72.

Accident

External video
video icon Last moments of Flight 691, filmed from the ground.
video icon Video of livestream of the crash from inside the aircraft by Sonu Jaiswal

The flight took off from Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:33 am NST. It crashed on the bank of the Seti Gandaki River while on final approach to landing at Pokhara International Airport. A video taken from the ground showed the aircraft banking steeply to the left before crashing. Another video was streamed live on Facebook by Sonu Jaiswal, a passenger on the plane, before and during the crash. The video shows passengers unaware of the situation until seconds before impact.

Nepali soldiers, police officers and APF rescue teams at the crash site

The crash occurred in Gandaki Province between the old Pokhara Airport and the new Pokhara International Airport, which was opened two weeks earlier and also where the aircraft was intending to land. The accident resulted in the deaths of all 72 people on board, and was Nepal's worst aviation accident since the crash of Pakistan International Airlines Flight 268 in 1992, the deadliest aviation accident in Nepalese domestic aviation, and the deadliest accident involving an ATR 72.

According to an official at the Pokhara International Airport, air traffic control cleared the flight to land on runway 30 heading from east to west, but the captain requested the opposing runway 12 heading from west to east, minutes before the crash. A Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal spokesperson said: "The weather was clear; according to preliminary information the cause of the crash is the technical issue of the plane."

Flight-tracking organisation Flightradar24 noted that during the flight the aircraft had been transmitting inaccurate speed and altitude data.

Aircraft

The aircraft involved in the crash was a 15-year-old twin-engine turboprop ATR 72-500, with serial number 754 and registration 9N-ANC. It was first delivered to Kingfisher Airlines as VT-KAJ in 2007. In 2013, it was transferred to Nok Air as HS-DRD before being delivered to Yeti Airlines in 2019.

Passengers and crew

There were 72 people on board, of which 68 were passengers and four were crew members. Among the passengers were 37 men, 25 women, and six children, three of whom were infants.

The plane was under the command of senior captain Kamal KC with Anju Khatiwada, 44, as copilot. Khatiwada's husband, Dipak Pokhrel, who also worked for Yeti Airlines, died in the 2006 Yeti Airlines Twin Otter crash. Khatiwada was set to qualify as a captain upon the successful completion of the flight.

Passengers and crew by nationality
Nationality Passengers Crew Total
Nepal 53 4 57
India 5 0 5
Russia 4 0 4
South Korea 2 0 2
Argentina 1 0 1
Australia 1 0 1
France 1 0 1
United Kingdom 1 0 1
Total 68 4 72

The United States Department of State announced that two U.S. citizens died in the crash, although Nepalese authorities did not report any American deaths.

Aftermath

The airport was closed as authorities launched a rescue operation. The Government of Nepal summoned an emergency cabinet meeting following the crash. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said he was deeply saddened by the tragic accident.

The Office of the Prime Minister declared 16 January to be a national day of mourning to pay respect to those who died in the crash. The flag of Nepal was flown at half-staff. Yeti Airlines cancelled all regular flights scheduled for 16 January.

Investigation

A five-member committee headed by Nagendra Ghimire is investigating the crash for the government of Nepal with the participation of the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety.

Amit Singh, an experienced pilot and founder of India's Safety Matters Foundation, speculated that the smartphone livestream, taken moments before and during the crash, showed the aircraft's nose noticeably high before the left wing suddenly dropped and the plane fell out of sight, probably indicating a stall. A spokesman said that the pilot had not reported "anything untoward" as the plane approached the airport.

On 16 January, the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were located and in good condition. The accident's investigation authority in Nepal requested on January 26 that both recorders were to be examined in Singapore.

On 17 January, authorities began returning the victims' bodies to their families.

See also


This page was last updated at 2023-01-31 11:33 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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