Nepalese authorities confirmed Thursday that the airport Yeti Airlines plane was trying to reach when it crashed over the weekend it did not have an instrument landing system to guide the planes to the runway.
According to Jagannath Niroula, spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the instrument landing system at Pokhara International Airport – which began operations on Jan. 1 and is where the Yeti Airlines flight was headed when it crashed – it won’t work until February 26th.
This novelty confirms what has been underlined by many aviation safety experts Nepal’s poor aviation safety recordthough the cause of the fatal plane crash has yet to be determined.
The instrument landing system is what helps the aircraft to fly safely when the pilot cannot maintain eye contact with surrounding obstacles and the ground, mainly due to bad weather or night flying. Pilots can also fly based on what they see instead of relying on instruments.
While Nepal, a mountainous country where visibility problems in flight are common, can be a difficult place to fly, conditions at the time of the accident were goodwith light winds, clear skies and temperatures well above freezing.
While the cause of the crash is still unclear, some experts say ground-based video showing the final moments of the flight indicates that the plane went into a dive, although it is not clear why.
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Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.