Poor visibility due to fog is being cited as a potential contributing factor in the fatal crash of a Yeti Airlines de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter in Nepal on 8 October.

Airport officials and the airline say there was fog over the airfield at Lukla, in eastern Nepal, at the time of the accident. "According to the eyewitnesses, the entire airport region was suddenly covered with fog right after two other [Yeti Airlines] aircraft had landed successfully," says the airline.

The Twin Otter (9N-AFE) was operating a 40min-long domestic flight from Nepal's capital Kathmandu to Lukla when it crashed on landing at 07:31. Two crew and all 16 passengers on board died, with only the aircraft's captain surviving.

The Nepalese government has formed a five-member committee to investigate the accident.

The aircraft crashed on landing on Lukla airport's short paved airstrip and burst into flames. The airport, which serves climbers in the Himalayas, is more than 9,000ft (2,740m) above sea level and is a challenging one for operations as it has a sloping runway with a cliff at the lower end.

Yeti Airlines Twin Otter crash
 © Reuters/ Krishna Fuyal

Source: Flight International