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Nepal - Twin Otter with 21 aboard missing, AP is reporting

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Nepal - Twin Otter with 21 aboard missing, AP is reporting

Old 24th Feb 2016, 03:27
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Nepal - Twin Otter with 21 aboard missing, AP is reporting

Small plane with 21 people on board missing in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) -- An airport official says a small plane with 21 people on board has gone missing while flying in a mountainous area in Nepal.

Official Yogendra Kuwar said the plane was on an 18-minute flight Wednesday, but lost contact after takeoff. He said there were no landing strips between the two airports the plane was flying between.

The plane had taken off from Pokhara, a resort town west of Kathmandu, and was heading north to Jomsom, which is the starting point for trekkers going into mountainous areas.

The Twin Otter aircraft was operated by Tara airlines in Nepal.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 03:40
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The plane was 9N-AHH and three helos are searching according to a press release on the company website.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 04:23
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AP has now updated its article.

Says 23 were aboard - 21 Nepalis, and 2 foreigners (China, Kuwait).

Poor weather is hampering search.

The police chief at Jomsom, Harihari Yogi, said they had reports from local villagers of hearing a loud explosion near the small village of Rupshe and attempts were being made to reach there.

[The destination] Jomson is popular for both foreign tourists visiting the Mount Annapurna and Mustang region for trekking, and for Hindu pilgrims visiting the Muktinath temple.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 05:36
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23? 19 seats and crew of 2. That's 21 Where the other two ? In the aisle? Cargo bin? Unless two lap kids ....There are no overhead bins.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 05:38
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There were 20 pax (incl 2 infants) and 3 crew.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 06:59
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Avn Minister said the plane just has been found in jungle in Mygdi District. No word of survivors..

http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 09:02
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Looks Bad

Latest report I see is that firey wreckage found. No survivors.
R.I.P.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 10:38
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Sadly another chapter in Nepal's poor safety record.
Flying in challenging mountain terrain with unpredictable weather and winds is never going to be easy, those pilots have got balls.

What, if anything, can be done to improve safety ?
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 11:04
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Recent crashes in Nepal:

8 October 2008, Yeti Airlines 103, Kathmandu to Lukla, crashed in Lukla, 18 fatalities

24 August 2010, Agni Air 101, Kathmandu to Lukla, crashed in Makwanpur, 14 fatalities

25 September 2011, Buddha Air 103, Mountain flight, crashed in Lalitpur, 19 fatalities

14 May 2012, Agni Air CHT, Pokhara to Jomsom, crashed in Jomsom, 15 fatalities

28 September 2012, Sita Air 601, Kathmandu to Lukla, crashed in Kathmandu, 19 fatalities

16 May 2013, Nepal Airlines 555, Pokhara to Jomsom, crashed in Jomsom, no fatalities

17 February 2014, Nepal Airlines, Pokhara to Jumla, crashed in Arghakhanchi, 18 fatalities
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 13:01
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RIP and

NOT flying VFR in IMC would assist with safety. Without inferring this was causal in this case it certainly is frequent practice, causal with other accidents and no doubt future events until they change.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 14:09
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Bad wx

Mate flying there said wx was absolute filth when the plane departed, and not as the company spokesman reported...
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 14:42
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I haven't seen Nepal territory, but I have seen Susi Air in Indonesia & PNG. It might be similar. If ever self-preservation out weighted 'get home-itis' & 'person-itis' I would have thought it would be in this type of terrain. If in doubt there is no doubt.
Assuming no technical malfunction. How does a Twin Otter perform on 1 engine at these density altitudes?
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 16:26
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RAT5 : This part of Nepal is very unlike New guinea. I have been flying myself around Pokhara 3 years ago. Pokhara itself is relatively low ( 2700 ft) , Jomson is up the pass considerably higher (8800ft) and wind is often a problem, although at this time ( early morning) it should be OK.
Weather can change very rapidly there.

More recent news here :https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/...dy-collection/
So getting into IMC resulting in CFIT looks too familiar

All domestic Flighst in nepal are VFR. But commercial pressure is intense and competition too. Very sad, Brand new Twin otter too.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 17:58
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Single engine performance in the Twotter is not a problem in these high but cold conditions. Wind is an issue in the Himalayas, a howling gale can spring
up from nowhere and have variable direction especially when flying up the valleys.
Most flights happen in the early morning when the air is more stable.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 22:22
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There really does need to be some intervention and pressure from the tourist operators and government here. Intense competition / pressure does not help the Nepalese all down the chain who are trying to make a living out of tourism. Every time this happens more people are deterred from flying within Nepal. Flying in and out of Lukla is a risk but the crews are very good at this. What they are not good at doing is not flying in thick cloud, in unforgivable terrain, and often with no on-board nav and no approach technology.And overtaking each other on the way to Lukla and return - IN CLOUD. Absolute madness and not like PNG at all. Much more dangerous. Fix this, fix it now because I really do like this place, these people and this culture. I want to go back but under different risk levels than today.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 23:55
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Flying in challenging mountain terrain with unpredictable weather and winds is never going to be easy, those pilots have got balls.
What, if anything, can be done to improve safety ?
Synthetic vision mandatory for this kind of operation.
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Old 25th Feb 2016, 06:13
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Synthetic vision mandatory for this kind of operation.
Is the required database available for that region?
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Old 25th Feb 2016, 08:12
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Synthetic vision mandatory for this kind of operation.
Agree but with which money ? and as 172 driver says : who is going to make and pay for the database ?
Reality check : Nepal is a the bottom of the list of poor Countries in the world and the recent earthquake is not helping improving things.

Most domestic aircraft on the Nepalese register , e.g the Dorniers , the old Twins and the Beechs have a Garmin 296 taped on the dashboard for navigation . No ILS anywhere , not even in Kathmandu. Even the Buddha ATRs fly VFR inside Nepal, and Buddah is one of the good airlines.

Ironically this brand new Twin Otter had ( according my info) a Garmin glass cockpit and terrain/EGPWs on the display, probably one of the only ones around, so I do not think navigation was an issue.
The route to fly from PKR to JMO is well known, is it inside a deep valley with 7000 peaks on either side , where the a/c crashed you have the Tukuche a 6900m on the left and the Anapurna South at 7200m on the right. If you can see the ground and follow the river you get to Jomsom without any problems.
My wild guess is that then entered bad wx lost sight of the flat ground below and decided to turn around and something went wrong during the 180.
But speculating .
Now, those who have ever attempted a 180 in bad wx ahead in a deep valley getting smaller and rising in up can throw the first stones at the crew.
And for those who always have a technological answer Mr. Garmin is not going to help you perform that 180 either, on the contrary even..
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Old 25th Feb 2016, 14:13
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Very sad, Brand new Twin otter too.
Is this the first loss of a -400 ?
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Old 25th Feb 2016, 17:16
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No ILS anywhere , not even in Kathmandu.
That's because the terrain won't permit siting an ILS. The government paid to have a French IFP developer design a quite good RNP AR approach to Runway 02.
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