Nepal plane crash: What aircraft was it?

Nepal plane crash
A Yeti Airlines ATR 72-500 aircraft, registration 9N-ANC, prepares to land at the airport of Kathmandu, Nepal, April 16, 2022. Photo: Reuters/Nicolas Economou

Nepal suffered its worst air crash in three decades today when a domestic flight crashed in Pokhara killing 68 people.

Yeti Airlines' 9N-ANC ATR-72 aircraft took off from Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:33 am, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN). While landing at the Pokhara airport around 11:00am, the aircraft crashed on the bank of the Seti River between the old airport and the new airport.

The Kathmandu-Pokhara flight takes around 25 minutes.

Yeti spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula told AFP that among those on board -- 68 passengers and four crew -- were 15 foreigners including five Indians, four Russians and two Koreans. The rest were Nepalis.

The twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft was 15 years old equipped with an old transponder with unreliable data, as per multiple reports. Manufactured by a joint venture of Airbus and Italy's Leonardo, the ATR 72 is a widely used twin-engine turboprop plane. There are six such planes in Yeti Airlines' fleet.

The Yeti Airlines flight 9N-ANC ATR-72 was on its third sortie since today morning. It first flew from Kathmandu to Pokhara and back to Kathmandu earlier in the day, Hindustan Times reported.

Gyanendra Bhul, information officer at the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal said weather was not a problem, preliminary information has been received that the plane crashed due to technical reasons.

Nepal's air industry has boomed in recent years, carrying goods and people between hard-to-reach areas as well as foreign trekkers and climbers.

But it has been plagued by poor safety due to insufficient training and maintenance.

The European Union has banned all Nepali carriers from its airspace over safety concerns.