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  • 23 Apr, 2024

A plane crash that killed 72 people, including two children, in Nepal was likely caused by an accidental power cut by the pilot, a government-appointed investigator said.

This resulted in a loss of power resulting in "downforce". On January 15, Yeti Airlines flew from the capital Kathmandu to the tourist town of Fokhar.

This is the deadliest plane crash in the United States in 30 years. The flight involving the ATR 72 aircraft on January 15 was the third section of the crew and operated between Kathmandu and Pokhara.

A civilian aircraft crashed in the Seti River Gorge just 1.5 km from the airport, triggering a rescue operation involving hundreds of Nepalese soldiers. "Due to its propulsion, the plane flew for 49 seconds before touching the ground," Deepak Prasad Bastola, an aeronautical engineer and member of the investigative commission, told Reuters.

The pilot may have set the power control lever to the spring position instead of selecting the valve handle, he explained. Mr Bastola explained that this caused the engine to idle and lack pressure.

"Despite warnings from the crew warning panel, after both engine propellers stalled unintentionally, the flight crew failed to identify the problem and take corrective action," the report said. The report also cited a lack of adequate skills and technology-based training, high workload and stress, and failure to follow standard operating procedures as reasons for the accident.

In addition, the aircraft was maintenance free and had no known defects and the flight crew was qualified as per the rules and regulations of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal. More than a dozen researchers from the United States, Canada, France and Singapore participated in the study.

Local resident Divya Dhakal told the BBC she rushed to the crash site after seeing the plane fall from the sky just after 11am (0515 GMT) in January. "When we got there, the accident scene was occupied. Huge plumes of smoke rose from the plane's flames. "The helicopter arrived soon," he said.

For the past decade, the European Union has banned Nepali airlines from entering its airspace for security reasons. Aviation accidents are not uncommon in Nepal, often caused by remote airstrips and sudden changes in weather that can lead to dangerous situations. Last May, Tara Air Flight 197, owned by Yeti Airlines, crashed into a mountain, killing 22 passengers and crew.