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August 23, 2010

Plane Crashes in Nepal Enroute to World’s Most Dangerous Airport

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Lukla Airport runway
Lukla Airport approach in a Twin Otter

Approaching Lukla in a Twin Otter. (Photo by Reinhard Kraasch)

A plane carrying 14 people has crashed in Nepal while flying through rough weather, according to published reports.

The Agni Air flight was enroute from the capital of Kathmandu to Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, which is widely considered the most dangerous airport in the world due to its short runway and the unforgiving approach path to its perch high in the Himalaya mountains.

The crash happened as the aircraft was returning to the capital, Kathmandu, because of severe weather that forced the airport in Lukla to close.

An official with the airline said six foreigners and five Nepali were among the passengers. She did not know the nationalities of the foreigners.

Local television reported that all passengers and crew on board the aircraft were killed in the crash. The airline, however, had no information about casualties.

Agni Air operates Dornier DO-228 twin-engine props on all flights to Lukla, according to their online schedule.

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  • I flew into Lukla last February with Agni.  The flight – landing and takeoff – is intense and a fabulous experience although I did have concerns for the pilot and crew as the same aircraft makes as many trips each day as possible [I don’t think there is a second aircraft flying this route] so all on my flight – the pilot, the co-pilot and the young Nepalese lady and the aircraft were all new as about seven months previously all were lost.   I have great admiration for them and I had a great flight.  I’ve landed at many airports including Kai Tak in Hong Kong and this flight is an adrenaline rush.