Nepal's Yeti confirms 18 killed in Twin Otter crash

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Nepal's Yeti Airlines has confirmed that 18 passengers and crew were killed this morning in a crash on landing of one of its de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters.

Senior manager Vinay Shakya confirms from Kathmandu that the crash occurred at Lukla airport in eastern Nepal. He says the Twin Otter was operating a domestic flight from the capital Kathmandu and 19 people were on board.

Shakya says the aircraft's captain was the sole survivor of the crash, which killed the co-pilot and a flight attendant as well as all 16 passengers.

He says 12 of the passengers were German, two were Australians and two were Nepalese.

Shakya says the aircraft carried a registration of 9N-AFE. According to Flight's ACAS database it had a serial number of 720 and was built in 1980. Yeti is listed as the owner.

ACAS says the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27-powered aircraft, a Series 300 variant, had been in service with Yeti since 1998.

Lukla is in eastern Nepal and is where many visitors begin the trek to Mt Everest.

Its airport, at more than 9,000ft (2,740m) above sea level and surrounded by mountains, is a challenging one for operations as it is on an incline and has a cliff at the lower end. It is only able to accommodate helicopters and short takeoff and landing fixed-wing aircraft.

This YouTube video is from a Yeti Airlines Twin Otter successfully landing at Lukla Airport and helps demonstrate the challenges this airport presents to a flight crew:

 

Images of Lukla Airpot, Nepal from Flickr ...