After Deepak Pokhrel died in a crash while piloting a Yeti Airlines small passenger plane in 2006, his wife Anju Hathivada used the money from her husband’s insurance to pay for her own pilot training. Hativada was the co-pilot on Sunday Yeti Airlines plane that crashed on descent at the new airport in Pokhara, Nepal, killing all 72 people on board.
An airline representative confirmed the fate of Hativada, 44, to various news outlets on Monday.
“She was flying the plane with an instructor pilot, which is standard airline procedure,” an unnamed airline official who said he knew Hativada personally told Reuters. “She was always ready to accept any duty and had flown to Pokhara before.”
Khatiwada flew regularly on a popular tourist route between the country’s capital Kathmandu and its second largest city, Pokhara.
Yeti Airlines spokesman Pemba Sherpa said Kativada was an “experienced pilot” with a “friendly personality” who rose to the rank of captain after thousands of flying hours.
“We lost the best,” Sherpa told The Associated Press.
Kettiwada’s remains were not identified among the scattered wreckage of the ATR-72 turboprop aircraft.
What caused the crash remains unclear. A a witness On the ground, who recorded video of the plane’s descent from his balcony, said he saw it fly low before suddenly turning left and diving.
“I saw it and I was shocked… I thought today will be the end here after it collapses, I will also be dead,” Diwas Bahori was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.
Indian passenger creepy 90 second video showed himself and his friends enjoying the descent into Pokhara before a sudden jolt knocks the camera out of whack and the shot quickly fills with smoke and flames as the passengers scream amid the chaos. The footage appears to confirm reports that something hit the plane with little to no warning.
Spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal and Yeti Airlines confirmed that a voice recorder and a flight data recorder – the so-called black boxes – were removed from the cockpit on Monday, which should help investigators determine the cause of the crash.
Nepal is home to some of the largest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, and the rough terrain and sudden changes in weather make flying dangerous.