Home/ News / World/  Pilot duo die in Nepal plane crashes within a gap of 16 years

The horrifying plane crash in Nepal that killed at least 68 people from the 72 passengers onboard, was being co-piloted by Anju Khatiwada, who had lost her pilot husband to a similar plane crash in 2006, according to a report by Reuters

According to the report, Khatiwada had joined Nepal's Yeti Airlines in 2010, four years after she lost her husband to a plane crash. It is reported that her husband was piloting a small passenger plane which too crashed just minutes before landing. 

Although Khatiwada's remains has not been found yet, she is feared dead. According to a statement by the Yeti Airline spokesperson, Anju Kathiwada's husband had also died in a plane crash of a Twin Otter plane of Yeti Airlines in Jumla, in Nepal. 

"Her husband, Dipak Pokhrel, died in 2006 in a crash of a Twin Otter plane of Yeti Airlines in Jumla," airline spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula told Reuters, referring to Khatiwada. "She got her pilot training with the money she got from the insurance after her husband's death."

The rescue operations that recovered 68 dead bodies and injured passengers who eventually died on Sunday, resumed their operations on Monday to recover the four lost people. No survivors have been found so far among the 72 people on board.

Anju Kathiwada had more than 6,400 hours of flying time to her credit. Retuers reported that Khatiwada had previously flown the popular tourist route from the capital, Kathmandu, to the country's second-largest city, Pokhara.

The body of Kamal KC, the captain of the flight, who had more than 21,900 hours of flight time, has been recovered and identified.

"On Sunday, she was flying the plane with an instructor pilot, which is the standard procedure of the airline," said an Yeti Airlines official, who knew Khatiwada personally.

"She was always ready to take up any duty and had flown to Pokhara earlier," said the official, who asked not to be named because he isn't authorised to speak to media.

The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from the aircraft, which may help investigators determine what caused it to crash in clear weather, were recovered on Monday.

The small Himalayan nation of Nepal has been plagued with deadly plane crashes, wherein statistics suggest that te country saw 17 such incidents int he past twenty three years. Nearly 350 people have died since 2000 in plane or helicopter crashes in Nepal - home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, including Everest .

The Yeti Airline' s domestic aircraft was carrying 72 people including four crew members.

The domestic aircraft was crashed ‘10-20 secs’ before landing at the newly inaugurated Pokhara International Airport int he resort city of Pokhara. The airplane fell on the banks of Seti river between the new and old airport, according to reports.

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Updated: 16 Jan 2023, 03:31 PM IST
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