In 2010, Anju Khatiwada joined Nepal’s Yeti Airlines, following in the footsteps of her husband, a pilot. Who had died in an accident four years earlier when a small passenger plane he was flying for a domestic carrier went down minutes before landing.
On Sunday, Khatiwada, 44, was the co-pilot on a Yeti Airlines flight from Kathmandu. That crashed on approach to the city of Pokhara, killing at least 68 people in the Himalayan nation’s deadliest plane crash in three decades.
“Her husband, Deepak Pokhrel, died in a Yeti Airlines Twin Otter plane crash in Jumla in 2006,”. Airline spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula told Reuters, referring to Khatiwada. “After her husband’s death she got her pilot training with the money from the insurance.”
A pilot with more than 6,400 hours of flying time, Khatiwada had earlier flown the popular tourist route from the capital Kathmandu to Pokhara, the country’s second-largest city, Bartaula said.
“On Sunday, he was flying the plane with a trainer pilot, which is the airline’s standard procedure,” said a Yeti Airlines official, who knew Khatiwada personally.
“He was always ready to take on any responsibility and had flown to Pokhara earlier,” said the official. Who asked not to be named as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
According to eyewitness accounts and a video of the crash posted on social media. The ATR-72 plane that Khatiwada was co-piloting rolled from side to. Side before crashing into a jetty near Pokhara airport and bursting into flames.
The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from the plane. Which could help investigators determine. What caused it to crash in clear weather, were recovered on Monday.
About 350 people have died since 2000 in plane or helicopter crashes in Nepal – home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Everest. Where sudden changes in weather can create dangerous conditions.