Kathmandu: The Yeti Airlines aircraft ATR-72 that crashed in Pokhara, Nepal was once part of the Kingfisher Airlines fleet of India. Vijay Mallya’s company Kingfisher Airlines bought this brand new aircraft 15 years ago, in 2007, from the famous French-Italian regional aircraft manufacturer ATR. The aircraft with the ATR 754 serial number was given the VT-KAJ callsign in India. Till March 30, 2013, this aircraft flew with Kingfisher Airlines. Kingfisher Airlines shut down after Vijay Mallya’s involvement in financial irregularities was exposed. In April 2013, this aircraft was bought by Nok Air of Thailand. This aircraft flew from 2013 to April 2019 with Nok Air.
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Yeti Airlines bought this 12-year-old ATR plane from Nok Air of Thailand on April 20, 2019. Since then this aircraft was flying for Yeti Airlines Company with the callsign 9N-ANC. The planes of the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR are considered very safe. Yeti Airlines plane that crashed in Nepal is the first ATR aircraft that has crashed. It has been said on behalf of the ATR company that it will investigate the reasons for the crash of this aircraft at its own level. The company will find out whether the plane crashed due to some technical fault. ATR has said to cooperate fully with the Government of Nepal in the investigation.
Nepali Prime Minister had arrived in this plane at the inauguration of Pokhara Airport
The first demo flight also took place with the same aircraft and the same pilot on 1 January 2023, the day of Pokhara International Airport’s inauguration. All the VVIP guests including Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda went from Kathmandu to Pokhara in this aircraft and inaugurated the international airport. Only 15 days later, this plane crashed, in which 72 people died tragically. According to Nepali media, senior pilot and trainer Kamal KC was flying the crashed ATR-72 aircraft. His co-pilot was Anju Khativada. Captain Kamal KC, who had trained many pilots, had 35 years of experience. This was Anju’s last flight as co-pilot. After its successful landing, she was about to be promoted to become the chief pilot. However, destiny had other plans.
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Anju Khativada was the co-pilot of the plane, her husband was also killed in the plane crash
Co-pilot Anju had earlier made successful landings at almost all airports and airstrips in Nepal. Co-pilot Anju’s husband Deepak Pokharel was also a co-pilot in Yeti Airlines. He too died in a plane crash 16 years ago. On June 21, 2006, Yeti Airlines 9N-AEQ aircraft crashed in Nepal. The aircraft was on a flight from Nepalgunj to Jumla via Surkhet. 6 passengers and 4 crew members were killed in this plane crash. Let us tell you that the plane of Yeti Airlines, which crashed in Pokhara on January 15, had left from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu at 10:33 am. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), the plane crashed 10 seconds before landing at around 11 am. It has been said by the airport authority that the accident happened due to a technical fault.
Tags: aviation news, Nepal, Plane crash
FIRST PUBLISHED : January 16, 2023, 08:54 IST