Nepal's Yeti Airlines confirms 9 killed in de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter crash

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By Nicholas Ionides in Singapore

Nepalese domestic carrier Yeti Airlines has confirmed that nine people were killed in a crash yesterday involving one of its 19-seat de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters.

The carrier’s general manager, Vijay Shrestha, says from Kathmandu that the crash occurred yesterday morning only a few hundred metres east of the threshold at Jumla airport, which is in the northwest of the country.

Shrestha says the Twin Otter was being operated as a flight from Surkhet and on approach to Jumla airport in good weather the cockpit crew elected to make a second landing attempt, soon after which the aircraft crashed.

“The observation is that it made a sharp turn and that it turned too sharply,” he says.

Jumla airport has a single runway (09/27) which is paved, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal’s website, which also shows the airfield is at 7,700ft (2,350m).

Shrestha says all six passengers and three crew were killed in the crash. He says the Twin Otter was registered as 9N-AEQ and it was purchased last year from another Nepalese carrier, Skyline Airways.

According to the Flight fleet database ACAS, 9N-AEQ was built in 1980 and had a manufacturer’s serial number of D6708.

The aircraft was one of four Twin Otters in the airline’s fleet, says Shrestha. Yeti also has larger Saab 340Bs but is replacing them with BAe Jetstream 41s.