Thu, Oct 09, 2008
Tourist Plane Crashed On Foggy Approach
A De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter carrying tourists from Germany,
Australia and Nepal crashed on approach to land in foggy conditions
near Mount Everest Wednesday, claiming the lives of 18 passengers
onboard but apparently sparing the life of the pilot.
The International Herald Tribune reports the Yeti Airlines plane
(similar to type shown above) inbound from Nepal snagged its main
landing gear on a security fence on the perimeter of Lukla airport,
about 40 miles from the mountain.
"Suddenly there was a big bang, and flames came out of the
plane," said witness Suraj Kunwar, who was waiting for a flight
when he saw the plane go down. "All the passengers waiting for
planes ran to help douse the flames, but the passengers were
Mohan Adhikari is general manager of Tribhuvan International
Airport in Kathmandu, the accident flight's origination point. He
said Lukla lies at 9,200 feet AGL, and is often used by hiking
teams attempting to climb Everest. The airport has seen a number of
accidents, due in part to a steep dropoff at the runway end.
The plane apparently attempted to land on the airport's smallish
runway with visibility of about 1/4 miles, Adhikari said, which is
right at the limit of the acceptable standard.
Adhikari said 12 German, two Australian and two Nepalese
tourists were onboard the plane, as well as plane's three-person
Nepalese flight crew. Yeti Airlines executive director Vijay
Shreshta said the pilot was transported to a local hospital with
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