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Deadly Plane Crash in Nepal Caused by Pilot Error, Report Finds

The feathering of a propeller, which reduces drag, is typically done when an engine is shut down, the report said, and can be done automatically or manually.

That error let air through the propellers, instead of pushing it backward to propel the plane and keep it airborne, the report said. Soon after, one of the pilots reported that there was no power coming from the engine.

Pokhara’s new airport was weeks old at the time, and the crew hadn’t received skill-based training for the airport, the report said. It was also the first pilot’s first attempt at landing on that runway, and the third time for the second pilot. The crew were probably distracted, the report said, because the pilots were occupied with providing instructions instead of focused on their duties.

Those factors caused the pilots to misidentify the levers and miss the indicators that the propellers had been feathered, the investigators concluded, citing factors including a high workload and stress.

The plane then lost thrust, stalled, crashed into the ground and was destroyed by the impact and fire, the report said. Video recordings on social media at the time showed the plane engulfed in flames and plumes of black smoke rising from the crash location. Emergency workers were shown trying to retrieve the bodies of victims.


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