The newly opened airport in Nepal the place a Yeti Airlines aircraft was trying to land when it crashed over the weekend, killing all 72 on board, didn’t have a functioning instrument touchdown system that guides planes to the runway, an official stated Thursday. Aviation security specialists stated it displays the Himalayan nation’s poor air security file, though the reason for the accident has not been decided.
Jagannath Niroula, a spokesperson for Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority, stated Pokhara International Airport’s instrument touchdown system won’t be working till Feb. 26 — 56 days after the airport started operations on Jan. 1.
An instrument touchdown system helps airplanes fly safely when the pilot is unable to keep up visible contact with surrounding obstacles and the bottom, primarily resulting from climate situations or at nighttime. Pilots may also fly by sight fairly than counting on devices.
Pilots say mountainous Nepal, the place in-flight visibility issues are widespread, is usually a tough place to fly, however situations on the time of the crash had been good, with low winds, clear skies and temperatures nicely above freezing. While it’s nonetheless not clear what precipitated the crash, some aviation specialists say video taken from the bottom of the aircraft’s final moments indicated it went right into a stall, though it’s unclear why.
Amit Singh, an skilled pilot and founding father of India’s Safety Matters Foundation, stated the shortage of an instrument touchdown system or navigational aids could possibly be a “contributory cause” of the crash and pointed to a “notoriously bad air safety culture in Nepal.”
“Flying in Nepal becomes challenging if you don’t have navigational aids and puts an extra workload on the pilot whenever they experience problems during a flight,” Singh stated. “Lack of an instrument landing system only reaffirms that Nepal’s air safety culture is not adequate.”
Yeti Airlines stated the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder will likely be analyzed domestically, however the flight information recorder will likely be despatched to France. Both had been retrieved Monday.
The twin-engine ATR 72-500 plane was flying from the capital, Kathmandu, to Pokhara, 200 kilometers (125 miles) to the west, when it plummeted right into a gorge because it was approaching the airport. The crash website is about 1.6 kilometers (one mile) from the runway at an elevation of about 820 meters (2,700 toes).
The crash is Nepal’s deadliest since 1992, when a Pakistan International Airlines aircraft plowed right into a hill because it tried to land in Kathmandu, killing all 167 folks on board. There have been 42 deadly aircraft crashes in Nepal since 1946, based on the Safety Matters Foundation.
A 2019 security report from Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority stated the nation’s “hostile topography” and “diverse weather patterns” had been the largest risks to flights within the nation.
The European Union has banned airways from Nepal from flying to the 27-nation bloc since 2013, citing weak security requirements. In 2017, the International Civil Aviation Organization cited enhancements in Nepal’s aviation sector, however the EU continues to demand administrative reforms.
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