We are now one week from the fatal accident that occurred on Sunday, 15 January in Nepal. Yeti Airlines Flight 691, an ATR 72-500 aircraft, crashed while on approach at Pokhara International Airport in Nepal. Sadly, this accident resulted in 72 fatalities. No one survived. Only one body remains to be discovered.
This has been Nepal’s deadliest aviation accident in over 30 years.
After years of pandemic-caused travel disruption this land locked nation was hopeful that their new airport would bring the tourists back. The nation’s second-largest city sits in the shadows of a towering mountain range. It’s a picture postcode setting for this tragedy.
Nepal’s government has set-up a five-member committee to investigate the accident.
As stated in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 13, Aircraft Accident, and Incident Investigation, it’s the responsibility of the State of Occurrence to lead an investigation. The objective of that investigation should be prevention of future accidents and incidents. It’s not the purpose of a technical activity to apportion blame or liability.
Nepal is the State of Registry and the State of the Operator, but they must notify the State of Design, the State of Manufacture (France) of the aircraft and ICAO in Montreal.
There are numerous speculations concerning the cause of this accident. The scant evidence available on social media does suggest that this aircraft accident fits into the category of Loss of Control in Flight. However, that suggestion is purely informed conjecture at this time.
I agree with David Learmount in that it’s likely that this will be found to be a preventable accident. That said, once the accident flight recorders have been replayed there should be a substantially better indication of what really happened on that fateful day.
Whereas it was previously reported the accident recoders were going to France it’s now reported that they are going to Singapotre for replay Black boxes from Nepal plane crash to be sent to Singapore – ABC News (go.com)
Based on the experience of the analysis of numerous accidents it’s unlikely to be a simple single cause. Such fatal aircraft accidents are often combinations of factors that come together. Approach to a new airport plus an unexpected event or error plus aspects of organisational culture can be enough to tip the balance.
Aviation, in itself, is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.
A quote of Captain A. G. Lamplugh, British Aviation Insurance Group, London. c. early 1930’s. This famous phrase has been reproduced on posters many times.
POST: Here’s some examples of what can happen again and again. Lessons learned from business aviation accidents maybe equally applicable to this case. Lessons Learned from Business Aviation Accidents | NBAA – National Business Aviation Association