Pilots Mistakenly Cut Power Leading To Aerodynamic Stall, Killing 72: Report On Yeti Airlines Crash

Yeti Airlines crash was the deadliest accident which killed 72 people. After investigation, here's what the officials found.

by Shreya Rathod
Pilots Mistakenly Cut Power Leading To Aerodynamic Stall, Killing 72: Report On Yeti Airlines Crash

A report released on Thursday by a government-appointed inquiry panel stated that human error and ignorance were the primary causes of the Yeti Airlines crash in Nepal that killed 72 lives over a year ago. According to the investigation, the pilots accidentally stopped the power, which caused an aerodynamic stall and the disaster that followed.

Yeti Airlines Flight Crashed Because Pilots Mistakenly Cut Power

yeti airlines crash
Credits: Wikimedia

Just before the plane descended into the well-liked Pokhara tourist location on January 15, one of the biggest aviation accidents to strike Nepal in 30 years occurred. There were 22 foreign nationalities, four crew members, and two newborns among the 72 passengers. Not a single person survived. Five citizens of India were among the crash’s casualties.

According to the report submitted by a five-member Investigation Commission, the most likely cause of the accident is determined to be the unintentional movement of both condition levers to the feathered position during flight. This led to the feathering of both propellers and subsequent loss of thrust, which caused an aerodynamic stall and collision with terrain.

Aeronautical engineer Dipak Prasad Bastola, who is on the examining panel, clarified that the pilots neglected to select the flap lever and instead put the condition levers, which govern power, in the feathering position. According to him, this caused the engine to run at idle and not generate thrust. But before it touched down, the aircraft flew for as long as 49 seconds because of its momentum.

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An investigative commission member named Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane told AFP that the investigation had determined that the incorrect lever had been pressed in the cockpit. The plane was alright technically, but it appeared that incorrect human input caused it to stall and crash, he claimed.

Inquiry Highlighted Ignorance By Pilot

yeti airlines crash
Credits: Wikimedia

The inquiry also brought attention to the more general problem of the pilots’ ignorance of SOPs and lack of awareness. The engines of the ATR 72, which is flown by the privately held airline Yeti Airlines, are produced in Canada by Pratt & Whitney Canada. Because of safety concerns, planes from Nepal are not allowed to operate in EU airspace since 2013.

Eight months after the investigation began, the Investigation Commission presented its findings to Sudan Kirati, Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation.

The terrible event involving Yeti Airlines in Pokhara was the third-largest disaster in terms of casualties and the 104th crash in Nepali skies.

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Minister Kirati gave orders for subordinate organisations to closely follow the recommendations made by the Probe Commission in order to stop accidents brought on by mistakes made by people and poor operations in the future.

Cover Image Courtesy: Wikimedia

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