Date & Time: Feb 24, 2016 at 0800 LT
Pokhara – Jomsom
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
The twin engine aircraft (a Viking Air DHC-6 Twin Otter 400 version) left Pokhara at 0750LT bound for Jomsom, a 18 minutes flight. About ten minutes later, while cruising in marginal weather conditions, the aircraft hit the slope of a mountain and crashed. As it failed to arrive at destination, SAR operations were conducted and the wreckage was found at 1325LT. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and a post crash fire and all 23 occupants were killed.
It was determined that the crew deviated from the prescribed route to the left while descending to Jomsom due to the presence of clouds in the area. In doing so, the aircraft descended to 10,000 feet in clouds while flying under visual flight rules (VFR). When the GPWS warning sounded, the crew failed to react immediately and the aircraft hit a cliff at the altitude of 10,700 feet before coming to rest at the altitude of 10,982 feet. The commission reported that ignoring the GPWS warning had become habit with certain flight crews.