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Nepal Plane Crash: Factors Behind The High Rate of Plane Crashes

On January 15th, a tragic aviation incident occurred at Pokhara International Airport in Nepal, resulting in the deaths of at least 68 passengers.


This is considered the deadliest air disaster in Nepal in the past 30 years.


  • Nepal’s mountainous terrain and limited infrastructure make air travel essential for connecting remote areas
  • However, the country also has a high rate of plane crashes, raising concerns about safety

Terrain Challenges

  • Nepal’s Himalayan mountain range poses significant challenges for aircraft navigation and landing
  • Many airports are located on steep mountain slopes, with short and narrow runways
  • The unpredictable weather and strong winds in the mountains can also make flying difficult
  • The lack of radar and other modern navigation equipment at some airports also adds to the difficulty

Technical Issues

  • Many of the planes used in Nepal are old and not well-maintained, increasing the risk of mechanical failure
  • The pilots are often poorly trained and lack experience in flying in challenging mountain conditions
  • The lack of proper air traffic control and safety regulations also contribute to the problem

Government Response

  • The Nepalese government has faced criticism for not doing enough to improve air safety
  • Efforts have been made to upgrade airports and improve pilot training, but progress has been slow
  • The government has also faced challenges in enforcing regulations due to political instability and a lack of resources


  • Nepal’s difficult terrain and limited infrastructure make air travel essential, but also pose significant safety challenges
  • The high rate of plane crashes in the country is a result of a combination of terrain challenges, technical issues, and a lack of government action.

Major Air Disasters In Nepal In last 20 Years

  • May 29, 2022: A Twin Otter plane operated by Nepali carrier Tara Air crashed shortly after takeoff from Pokhara in western Nepal, killing 22 people.
  • March 12, 2018: A flight from the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka crash-landed at Kathmandu airport, resulting in 51 deaths.
  • February 27, 2019: A helicopter crashed in bad weather in eastern Nepal, killing all 7 people on board, including the tourism minister.
  • February 24, 2016: A Twin Otter aircraft operated by Tara Air crashed into a hillside in Myagdi district, killing all 23 people on board.
  • February 16, 2014: A Nepal Airlines flight crashed in Arghakhanchi district, resulting in 18 deaths.
  • September 28, 2012: A plane carrying 19 people towards Mount Everest crashed, killing everyone on board.
  • May 14, 2012: An Agni Air plane carrying Indian pilgrims crashed near the high-altitude airport of Jomsom in northern Nepal, resulting in 15 deaths.
  • September 25, 2011: A small plane taking tourists on a sightseeing trip around Mount Everest crashed into a hillside near Kathmandu, killing all 19 people on board.
  • December 15, 2010: A passenger plane that crashed in eastern Nepal killed all 22 passengers and crew on board.
  • August 24, 2010: A small Agni Air plane crashed in bad weather near Kathmandu, killing all 14 people on board.
  • September 28, 1992: All 167 people on board a Pakistan International Airlines plane died when it crashed on approach to Kathmandu, in Nepal’s worst-ever air accident.

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February 2024