Nepal Plane Crash: Yeti Airlines Plane Previously owned By Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines
The ill-fated 9N-ANC ATR-72 aircraft of Yeti Airlines, which crashed near Nepal’s Pokhara International Airport on Sunday, was formerly operated by the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, owned by liquor baron Vijay Mallya. The plane was handed over to Kingfisher Airlines in 2007.
The aircraft was purchased six years later by Thailand’s Nok Air. Nepal’s Yeti Airlines bought it in 2019, according to data from Cerium Fleets, which tracks aircraft fleets, equipment and their cost.
According to reports, the plane was carrying a total of 68 passengers and four crew members. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the aircraft took off from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport on Sunday morning and crashed on the banks of the Seti River between the old airport and the new airport in Pokhara.
Officials said at least 68 people have died and four people are still missing. 15 foreigners, including five Indian nationals, were on board the ill-fated flight.
Cerium Fleets data noted that the aircraft was operated by Laser Investec Bank, and owned by KF Turbo Leasing. It was the first time in Nepal’s aviation history that an ATR-72 aircraft had to face a disaster.
The crashed aircraft was a twin-engine turboprop, developed in France and Italy by aircraft manufacturer ATR, a joint venture between French aerospace company Aerospatiale and Italian aviation conglomerate Ariitalia.
As far as the use of ATR-72 aircraft by airlines is concerned, only Buddha Air and Yeti Airlines currently operate such aircraft for short-haul services in Nepal.
According to pilots and aircraft accident investigation experts, factors leading to fatal plane crashes in Nepal could be mismanagement, aircraft system malfunction or pilot fatigue, PTI reported.
They said the exact cause of the accident would be known only after a detailed investigation.
A bad weather angle could be ruled out by the fact that the sky was clear and not overcast, with video clips on social media purportedly showing the motion of the plane seconds before it crashed.
An aircraft accident investigator told PTI that before the crash, the nose of the aircraft had gone up slightly and the wings had tilted to the left and there might have been a stall.
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