The co-pilot of the Yeti Airlines plane that crashed in Nepal on Sunday is the widow of a pilot who flew with the same airline and died in another plane crash 16 years ago. In 2010, Anju Khatiwada followed in her husband’s footsteps and joined Yeti Airlines. Dipak Pokrel also flew for Nepal Airlines, but the small airliner he was on crashed and died minutes before landing.
“Her husband, Dipak Pokhrel, died in 2006 in a crash of a Twin Otter plane of Yeti Airlines in Jumla,” airline spokesperson Sudarshan Bartaula told Reuters, referring to Khatiwada. “She got her pilot training with the money she got from the insurance after her husband’s death.” A pilot with more than 6,400 hours of flying time, Khatiwada had previously flown the popular tourist route from the capital, Kathmandu, to the country’s second-largest city, Pokhara, Bartaula said.
A voice recorder and flight data recorder in the plane’s cockpit was recovered Monday which could help investigators determine the cause of the crash in clear weather. Nearly 350 of his people have died in plane and helicopter crashes in Nepal since 2000. The country is home to 8 of the 14 tallest mountains in the world, including Everest, and sudden weather changes can create dangerous situations.