Mount Everest plane crash blamed on pilot error

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another Yeti Twin Otter at Lukla

Investigators in Nepal have blamed the crash of a DeHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter near Mount Everest in October last year on pilot error. Eighteen of the nineteen on board were killed when Yeti Airlines Flight 103 struck a rock at the side of the runway at Lukla Airport and caught fire.

The only survivor of the crash was the aircraft's captain. Twelve Germans, four Nepalis and two Australians were killed. The flight had departed from Katmandu and was attempting to land at Lukla, which is at an elevation of 9,200 feet (2,800 meters), and has a sheer drop at the runway's end.

The report says the pilots had underestimated deteriorating weather conditions during approach, and had attempted landing after entering a thick patch of fog. Investigators examined the crash site and interviewed eyewitnesses before producing the report, which has been submitted to the government.

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