NEWS Nepal air crash co-pilot married to pilot who died in 2006 Yeti Air crash | Nepal

The co-pilot of the Yeti Airlines flight that crashed in Nepal on Sunday was the widow of a pilot with the same airline who also died in a crash 16 years ago.

In 2010, Anju Khatiwada followed in her husband’s footsteps and joined Yeti Airlines. Dipak Pokhrel, who also flew for Nepal Airlines, was killed when a small airliner he was piloting crashed minutes before landing.

Khatiwada was the co-pilot of the flight from Kathmandu that crashed on Sunday while approaching the city of Pokhara, killing at least 68 people in the Himalayan nation’s deadliest plane accident in 30 years.

There were no survivors of the 72 people on board.

“Her husband, Dipak Pokhrel, was killed in a Yeti Airlines Twin Otter crash in Jumla in 2006,” airline spokesman Sudarshan Sudarshan Bartaula told Reuters he was referring to Khatiwada. “She took pilot training with the money she got from insurance after her husband died.”

A pilot with more than 6,400 hours of flying time, Khatiwada previously flew the popular tourist route from the capital, Kathmandu, to Pokhara, the country’s second-largest city, Bartaula said.

The body of Captain Kamal KC, who had flown more than 21,900 hours, has been found and identified.

Kathiwada has not been identified, but she is feared dead, Bartaula said.

“On Sunday, she flew the plane with an instructor, which is standard airline procedure,” said a Yeti Airlines official who knew Khatiwada.

“She was always ready to take any responsibility and had flown to Pokhara earlier,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Reuters could not immediately reach any of her family members.

According to eyewitness accounts and crash videos posted on social media, the ATR-72 piloted by Khativada rolled from side to side before crashing into a canyon near Pokhara airport and bursting into flames.

The plane’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, which may help investigators determine what caused the plane to crash in clear weather, were recovered on Monday.

Since 2000, nearly 350 people have died in plane or helicopter crashes in Nepal. The country is home to eight of the world’s 14 tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, where sudden weather changes can lead to dangerous conditions.

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