The plane crash that killed 72 people in Nepal on Jan. 15, 2023, has been attributed to pilot error following the release of a preliminary investigative report.
Earlier this week, the Nepalese Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission released its preliminary report on the Yeti Airlines flight that crashed into a river gorge in Pokhara. The plane was carrying 72 passengers in total, including the crew, all of whom perished.
The report indicates that on descent one of the pilots selected the wrong lever, feathering the propellors instead of lowering the flaps.
Two captains were operating the plane. One of the captains was in the process of obtaining aerodrome familiarization for operating into Pokhara and the other captain was the instructor pilot. The captain being familiarized, who was occupying the left hand seat, was the Pilot Flying (PF) and the instructor on the right was the Pilot Monitoring (PM).
“At 10:56:27, the PF (Pilot Flying) disengaged the Autopilot System (AP) at an altitude of 721 feet Above Ground Level (AGL). The PF then called for ‘FLAPS 30’ at 10:56:32, and the PM (Pilot Monitoring) replied, ‘Flaps 30 and descending,’” the report said.
“The flight data recorder (FDR) data did not record any flap surface movement at that time. Instead, the propeller rotation speed (Np) of both engines decreased simultaneously to less than 25% and the torque (Tq) started decreasing to 0%, which is consistent with both propellers going into the feathered condition. When propellers are in feather, they are not producing thrust.”