Yeti Airlines Flight 691 Final Report Reveals Crash Caused By Human Error

A video of the final moments of Yeti Airlines flight 691 was streamed by one of the passengers to his social media followers during the aircraft landing at Pokhara International Airport, Kathmandu.

On January 15, 2023, Yeti Airlines Flight 691, an ATR 72 twin-turboprop commuter aircraft, crashed during its approach phase at Pokhara International Airport on January 15th, 2022. The accident resulted in the tragic loss of all 72 people on board. The Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission of Nepal released a preliminary report detailing the events that led to the crash.


Flight Details

Flight 691 was the flight crew's third flight of the day, consisting of two captains. They had flown one round trip between Kathmandu and Pokhara before the accident flight. On Yeti 691, the pilot flying (PF) was the captain undergoing familiarization for landing in Pokhara, while the pilot monitoring (PM) was acting as the instructor pilot.

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Sequence of Events

The takeoff, climb, cruise, and initial descent from Kathmandu to Pokhara were uneventful. As the pilots prepared for landing, they selected flaps 15 and lowered the landing gear. The PF disengaged the autopilot at 721 feet above ground level. The PF then called for “FLAPS 30” at 10:56:32, and the PM replied, “Flaps 30 and descending”. However, the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) data did not record any flap surface movement at that time. Instead, the propeller rotation speed (Np) of both engines decreased simultaneously to less than 25%, and the torque (Tq) started decreasing to 0%, which is consistent with both propellers going into the feathered condition. This condition means that the propellers were adjusted to minimize air resistance, which is typically done when the engines are not in use.

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The Critical Error

Based on the Nepalese investigator’s preliminary report, it appears the PM (right seat) moved the prop levels to feather (FTR) instead of moving the flaps level to 30 at this point. This error led to a loss of engine power, which was noted by the pilots. Despite attempts to correct the situation, the aircraft descended and crashed into the Seti Gorge, just over one kilometer from the airport.

The focus of the Investigation

The continuing investigation will focus on three factors:

1. The circumstances under which both propellers went into the feathered condition.

2. Human factors.

3. Visual approach procedures into Pokhara International Airport, including simultaneous operation of both national and international airports.

The final report on the crash of Yeti Airlines Flight 691 is eagerly awaited, as it will provide more insights into the tragic accident and hopefully contribute to the prevention of similar incidents in the future.

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