Another sad day in the history of Nepal as yet another airplane crash claims 19 lives.
A Buddha Air mountain flight (which takes tourists from Kathmandu on a flip over the Everest area) was returning to Kathmandu on Sunday, 25 September, and crashed into a mountain at Kotdanda, some 20km outside of the city. Cloud cover was hanging low (they were returning halfway because the mountain views were obscured), and it appears the plane was flying too far east (probably to make room for the two other mountain-flight planes ahead of them). They seem to have flown too low, in order to fly below the cloud ceiling.
Eighteen of the people on board were killed in the crash, and a survivor died later in hospital. Among the deceased were 3 Nepalese crew members, an additional 3 Nepalese civilians, 10 Indian tourists, 2 American tourists and 1 Japanese tourist.
The investigations will confirm the exact cause of the crash, but it appears to be another case of Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT), of which there have been many in Nepal. Many have happened during the Monsoon season, and as a result of the plane flying into clouds. Below is a summary of the air disasters:
Date Airline Equipment Fatalities Location
30-7-92 Thai Airbus310 113 Langtang
30-9-92 Pakistan Airbus310 157 Lalitpur
31-8-97 Everest Do228 18 Bharatpur
24-8-93 Lumbini DHC-6 18 Kaski
9-6-99 Lufthansa Boeing 727 5 Kathmandu
5-10-98 Necon Air HS748 15 Kathmandu
27-6-00 Nepal Air DHC-6 25 Dadeldhura
22-9-02 Shangri La DHC-6 18 Kaski
25-5-05 Yeti DHC-6 3 Lamjura
23-9-10 Shree Air MI-17 24 Ghunsa
8-10-08 Yeti DHC-6 18 Lukla
24-8-10 Agni Air Do-228 14 Makwanpur
15-12-10 Tara Air DHC-6 22 Okhaldhunga
Footage of the crash site from Nepal TV (note: may be disturbing for senstive viewers):
For more details and pictures, please see the following sources: