Very sad, Nepal seems to be prone to similar accidents. The mountainous terrain is unforgiving of the slightest navigational error.
The photos show that they were within a few feet of clearing the summit and the lack of significant fire damage leads me to suspect that they may have been low on fuel, possibly stooging around waiting for the fog to break.
From what I know is that the Mountain Flights are conducted on VFR , however the departure and the arrival maybe conducted on IFR. Looks like they were making a VFR arrival, wouldnt be a IFR approach, and usually the pilots here tend to fly IFR approach on GPS rather than VOR due to regular VOR outage due to power failures. And might have ended too close to the terrain in fog etc.
Buddha Air is considered to the be the safest airline, but...guess the crew ran out of luck.
Also, the copilot was a captain flying with another captain for clearence.
The aircraft is equipped with GPWS and Weather Radar etc. Maybe a miss calculation or a technical issue. Have to wait till the CVR and FDR are checked.
Fuel wouldn't be an issue given they always carry higher fuel plus they is no info about if the aircraft was holding.
I can confirn that Buddah is definitively one, if not the, best operator in KTM. However you can only do that much in that environment. This is not a "mountain" accident is is a 3rd world country accident. With an International airport located inside the capital city valley surrounded by high hills means lots of pollution, smog all year long fueled by ever increasing number of 2-stoke mopeds , very poor visibility , frequent power outages knocking down (sometimes ) the very few nav aids still working , no ILS ( not possible due to excessive glide slope and no money for MLS ), very particular procedures to avoid terrain, etc..
Another aspect is the lack of ground intrastrucure, meaning air transport is vital . Tourism is the first source of income, so tourist flights are also vital. all this leads to commercial pressure . Commercial pressure in a 3rd world environment is deadly. That explains most of the accidents in Nepal. No need to crucify the 2 guys ( or girls, yes, Buddah has female captains ) in front. It is part of the overall daily routine.
Commercial pressure in a 3rd world environment is deadly
Could not agree with you more. Having worked mostly in First World carriers, where even there the pressure is very high. It is the reason that I avoid third world airlines, especially ones crewed locally.
GPS RNAV Approaches are not expensive; it is time to implement some in South Asia.
The VOR approach that exists for that runway (and is typically flown using GPS for greater accuracy) while being more demanding than many is quite capable of ensuring a safe approach and landing provided the crew stick to the rules. Assuming no technical failure in either the ground or a/c equipment this was not a failure of the approach guidance system.
An eye witness said that they saw the aircraft on fire before it crashed. In case of aviation accident, it is always easy to blame the pilot so that rest of the people investigating can do off with an easy answer. It is damn frustrating.