Co-pilot of downed Nepal passenger plane was widow of pilot killed in 2006 crash

In 2010, Anju Khatiwada joined Nepal’s Yeti airways, following inside the footsteps of her husband, a pilot who had died in a crash 4 years earlier when a small passenger plane he was flying for the home provider went down minutes earlier than touchdown.

On Sunday, Khatiwada, forty 4, was the co-pilot on a Yeti airways flight from Kathmandu that crashed as a end result of it approached metropolis of Pokhara, killing at the least sixty eight people inside the Himalayan nation’s deadliest plane accident in three many years.

No survivors have been found up to now amongst the diversified seventy two people on board.

“Her husband, Dipak Pokhrel, died in 2006 in a crash of a Twin Otter plane of Yeti airways in Jumla,” airline spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula instructed Reuters, referring to Khatiwada. “She obtained her pilot teaching with the money she obtained from the insurance coverage after her husband’s dying.”

A pilot with larger than 6,4 hundred hours of flying time, Khatiwada had beforehand flown the standard vacationer route from the capital, Kathmandu, to the nation’s second-largest metropolis, Pokhara, Bartaula mentioned.

The physique of Kamal okay.C., the captain of the flight, who had larger than 21,900 hours of flight time, has been recovered and recognized.

A cying woman is embraced by another woman.
members of the household mourn the dying of a sufferer of the plane crash. (Rohit Giri/Reuters)

Kathiwada’s stays have not been recognized however she is feared lifeless, Bartaula mentioned.

“On Sunday, she was flying the plane with an teacher pilot, which is the commonplace course of of the airline,” mentioned an Yeti airways official, who knew Khatiwada personally.

“She was always ready to take up any obligation and had flown to Pokhara earlier,” mentioned the official, who requested to not be named as a end result of he is not accepted to communicate to media.

Reuters was unable to proper away attain any of her members of the household.

Part of a plane's fueselage is seen on the ground in a jungle setting, while rescuers in helmets and masks look on.
Rescue teams work to retrieve our bodies from the crash wreckage on Monday. Rescuers have been battling cloudy climate and poor visibility. (Krishna Mani Baral/Reuters)

The ATR-seventy two plane that Khatiwada was co-piloting rolled again and forth earlier than crashing in a river gorge shut to Pokhara airport and catching hearth, in line with eyewitness accounts and a video of the crash posted on the social media.

It stays unclear what prompted the crash, the Himalayan nation’s deadliest airplane accident in three many years. The climate was mild and by no means windy on the day of the crash.

floor shook like an earthquake, says witness

A witness who recorded footage of the plane’s descent from his balcony mentioned he noticed the plane flying low earlier than it out of the blue veered to its left. “I noticed that and that i used to be shocked. i assumed that at this time every thing will most likely be accomplished right here after it crashes, i am going to even be lifeless,” mentioned Diwas Bohora.

After it crashed, pink flames erupted and the underside shook violently, like an earthquake, Bohora mentioned. “i used to be scared. Seeing that scene, i used to be scared.”

one other witness mentioned he noticed the plane twist violently inside the air after it started descending to land, watching from the terrace of his residence. lastly, Gaurav Gurung mentioned, the plane fell nostril-first in direction of its left and crashed into the gorge.

Uniformed rescuers in helmets look at part of a broken plane fuselage, which is lying on the ground in a forest.
Searchers have found the cockpit voice recorder and flight information recorder from the passenger flight that crashed on Sunday. each recorders have been in good situation, an official on the Kathmandu airport, mentioned. (AFP by way of Getty photographs)

The cockpit voice recorder and flight information recorder from the plane, which may assist investigators decide what prompted it to crash in clear climate, have been recovered on Monday.

each recorders have been in good situation and could be despatched for evaluation primarily based on the advice of the producer, Teknath Sitaula, an official on the Kathmandu airport, instructed Reuters on Monday.

Rescuers have been battling cloudy climate and poor visibility as they scoured the river gorge the place the plane crashed.

almost 350 people have died since 2000 in plane or helicopter crashes in Nepal — residence to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, collectively with Everest — the place sudden climate modifications could make for hazardous circumstances.


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