Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

Nepal Plane Crash

Old 17th Jan 2023, 10:53
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The last minute decision to swap to Runway 12 seems incongruous with the flight history of the aircraft (9N-ANC) between Kathmandu and the new airport at Pokhara. All previous flights appear to take the straight in approach to Runway 30 (as shown on Flightradar 24).

If the decision to use Runway 12 was for a training exercise why would the crew have notified ATC at the last minute when its only a 25 minute flight. Surely it would have been included in the flight plan.

Flightradar24 also shows that the aircraft had been running around an hour behind schedule that morning on its previous sectors. Assuming it was still behind schedule for YT691 then surely the quickest approach would have been straight in via Runway 30?

The *potential* influence of the old airport and familiar patterns of behaviour related to it may have been subtle, nuanced and partial.

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Old 17th Jan 2023, 11:15
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Originally Posted by barrymung
The wheels were down, suggesting they were configured to land.
I meant wheels down on the tarmac, not wheels down to prep.
They were hundreds of feet too high to have be landing on the old runway
They were 2.5km from touchdown on the new runway.

Last edited by WingMen; 17th Jan 2023 at 11:26. Reason: spelling
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 11:15
  #183 (permalink)  
 
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The wheels were down because they were on approach to land on 12, duh!.
With any sort of issue that isnt apparent to the passengers, then they would be the last to know.

They were 300-400 feet above the old runway, they were never landing on it, not even close, flying over it is part of a left hand circuit for 21.

Last edited by michaelbinary; 17th Jan 2023 at 11:37.
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 11:47
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Originally Posted by barrymung
........We also need to ask why they made such a sharp turn at a relatively slow speed........
Is it possible that the very experienced TRE was showing the very inexperienced F/O how to do a circling type approach to this airfield ?
Then - I don't know - maybe he either positioned it much too tight, and/or kept his eyes outside the cockpit too much and didn't keep an eye on the power setting or the airspeed ? If so, the F/O probably would have been looking out too, to learn the 'picture', so neither pair of eyes was inside on the instruments.
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 13:15
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Originally Posted by Uplinker
Is it possible that the very experienced TRE was showing the very inexperienced F/O how to do a circling type approach to this airfield ?
Then - I don't know - maybe he either positioned it much too tight, and/or kept his eyes outside the cockpit too much and didn't keep an eye on the power setting or the airspeed ? If so, the F/O probably would have been looking out too, to learn the 'picture', so neither pair of eyes was inside on the instruments.
Anju Khatiwada had flown close to 6,400 hours and was about to become a CPT.
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 13:19
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Originally Posted by Landseer
So in this situation was a 270 right out of the question - too low/terrain/traffic?
Looking at the terrain they had enough room to drift through the centreline and correct normally. But in a similar situation many pilots will still try to "rescue" the turn by squeezing it a bit on the bottom rudder. If a little bit slow and a little bit low, a bit of loading of the wings follows and ....
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 13:54
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Originally Posted by gearlever
Anju Khatiwada had flown close to 6,400 hours and was about to become a CPT.
FAA . No way a rookie .
Certificate: AIRLINE TRANSPORT PILOT
Date of Issue: 10/20/2014

Ratings:
AIRLINE TRANSPORT PILOT
AIRPLANE MULTIENGINE LAND
PRIVATE PRIVILEGES
AIRPLANE SINGLE ENGINE LAND

All sorts of Information on Anju and the fateful flight .
A. She was Co-pilot on the Flight . But had recently became a captain .
B. She was about to be a Captain . Hence this was a Check flight with an experienced Instructor Pilot .
C . She was the pilot flyig . She requested the runway change .
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 14:10
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by chazontour
The last minute decision to swap to Runway 12 seems incongruous with the flight history of the aircraft (9N-ANC) between Kathmandu and the new airport at Pokhara. All previous flights appear to take the straight in approach to Runway 30 (as shown on Flightradar 24).

If the decision to use Runway 12 was for a training exercise why would the crew have notified ATC at the last minute when its only a 25 minute flight. Surely it would have been included in the flight plan.

Flightradar24 also shows that the aircraft had been running around an hour behind schedule that morning on its previous sectors. Assuming it was still behind schedule for YT691 then surely the quickest approach would have been straight in via Runway 30?

The *potential* influence of the old airport and familiar patterns of behaviour related to it may have been subtle, nuanced and partial.
This is VERY interesting. Looks like every YT flight into Pokhara for previous 5 days, was straight into runway 30 on the new airport. The YT flight just 3 hours earlier in the day, again was straight into runway 30. ATC cleared them to land on runway 30, but plane asked for runway 12. So pretty darn clear this was unplanned at least from ATC perspective. Hard to argue with that.

Everyone posting that no way they were trying to land at old airport, they were 100s of feet in the air when they passed the stadium, they were too high. Well ya of course at THAT point they were not landing at the old airport. It's pretty clear they are in the air and yes not landing at the old airport at that point. But back up in the flight 3-4 minutes. All evidence we have so far shows an abnormal plan to land on runway 12. When did they make that decision? Was it late in the flight? To me it seems like they were not prepared for runway 12 landing, they were clearly not on a good path to make runway 12, and probably distracted at how they were going to make it, were too low and too slow, and stalled. But contributing factor based on all the current evidence, is that they made a change to runway 12, and probably late in the flight. If it was 5-10 minutes earlier they would have just landed at runway 30.

Anyone know the wind direction that day? Were they landing with the wind behind them?
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 14:13
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Originally Posted by gearlever
Anju Khatiwada had flown close to 6,400 hours and was about to become a CPT.
SLF question: is it normal to accumulate 6400 hours before achieving a command?
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 14:21
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No way to answer that without knowing the pilots history. 6400 hrs where I am would be average. But, it depends on multiple factors and nothing can be read into to the number.
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 14:23
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Thanks macdo, I was thinking about military pilots, who take eons to reach 6400 hours.

EDIT: not reading anything into the number, it just seemed like a lot of hours to me.
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 14:29
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MODS:
Why has this thread been removed from the main page??? Indeed there is now no longer any link to it from there.
It would seem to me that this thread - all about an extremely serious, fatal accident - should be easily visible to all in the aviation community including ALL current pilots. Yes at first sight this appears to be a stall from a mis-handled visual / circling approach - and almost certainly it was - but we don't yet know why. So why do you MODS think that this discussion should not be at the forefront of pilot thinking? Yes indeed there is an awful lot of uninformed rubbish being spouted here (that is the nature of PPRuNe) but the underlying fact is that there is potentially an awful lot to be learnt from this disaster. Just because it was in Nepal, with it's worrying incident rate, does not mean it is irrelevant. I would submit that this could have happened anywhere - including Western Europe & the USA. Stalling on an approach is not unheard of in our part of the world and the fact that the F/O is now known to be experienced, with some 6400 hrs, means that this was overall an extremely experienced crew. Certainly, hours wise, they had more than enough experience (& presumably local knowledge) to have completed this flight safely. WHY did they not is the question - and, as such, this should be afforded more visibility than it is now getting. MODS: Please reconsider this decision and move it back to the mainstream discussion - that way lessons from this horrific accident are more likely to be learned by those who fly day in & day out such NPAs in older, less well equipped aircraft - often also in difficult circumstances.

Very pleased to see that the link to this has now been restored on the front page - thank you Mods.

Last edited by Gizm0; 18th Jan 2023 at 21:34. Reason: Subsequent amendment
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 14:31
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Originally Posted by Yo_You_Not_You_you
A. She was Co-pilot on the Flight . But had recently became a captain
B. She was about to be a Captain . Hence this was a Check flight with an experienced Instructor Pilot .
C . She was the pilot flyig . She requested the runway change .
Nice job of contradicting yourself within one paragraph.
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 14:38
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Originally Posted by Gizm0
Stalling on an approach is not unheard of in our part of the world
I would submit that stalling on approach is unheard of in the airline transport world. There have been many accidents of this nature in GA, but in airline ops?

Oh, someone will always be able to pull up an outlying incident, but airliners don't stall on approach. Millions of movements per year...
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 14:44
  #195 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Zombywoof
... but airliners don't stall on approach. Millions of movements per year...
​​​​​Maybe giv it a try >>>

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chin...nes_Flight_140

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Airlines_Flight_676
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 14:54
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Wink

Originally Posted by Zombywoof
Nice job of contradicting yourself within one paragraph.
,

Meant to be contradictory . hence A . B . C
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 14:55
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Originally Posted by Zombywoof
Nice job of contradicting yourself within one paragraph.
That was their point. That there is a lot of contradicting information about that pilot.
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 14:57
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Originally Posted by JanetFlight
​​​​​Maybe giv it a try
Did you read what I said? Stall on approach incidents are EXTREMELY rare in the airliner world. I didn't even bother to read your post, because coming up with an incident that fits the mold (if that's what you have done) just proves what I said.. there's always someone who can pull up something from the annals of the past.


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Old 17th Jan 2023, 15:00
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Originally Posted by MikeSnow
That was their point. That there is a lot of contradicting information about that pilot.
I don't see any contradicting information at all.

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Old 17th Jan 2023, 15:02
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Originally Posted by Zombywoof
I would submit that stalling on approach is unheard of in the airline transport world. There have been many accidents of this nature in GA, but in airline ops?

Oh, someone will always be able to pull up an outlying incident, but airliners don't stall on approach. Millions of movements per year...
Stalling on approach is certainly not unheard off, just look for Asiana flight 214 in 2013.
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