Shortly after her pilot husband’s demise in a plane crash in 2006, Anju Khatiwada, the co-pilot of the ill-fated Yeti Airlines’ aircraft in Nepal, decided to join the aviation sector. And as fate had it, 16 years later co-pilot Anju was in the 9N-ANC ATR-72 aircraft that crashed on the bank of the Seti River near Pokhara’s new airport on Sunday, with 72 people on board. According to news agency PTI, 69 people were confirmed dead in the crash while three others are still missing. Anju is believed to be among the victims.
Anju’s husband Deepak Pokharel used to fly helicopters of the Nepal Army when they got married. After a few years of their marriage, Deepak, who became a pilot of Yeti Airlines, died in a Twin-Otter crash in Jumla district in 2006, PTI reported. Following the sudden demise of her husband, Anju decided to go to the US and to pursue an aviation course.
According to a spokesperson of Yeti Airlines, Anju used the money she received as an insurance claim after her husband’s death to undertake the course. She joined Yeti Airlines in 2010 and became a captain fulfilling her dream.
The PTI report further quoted the sources as saying that Anju had flown 6,396 hours in Kathmandu, Bhadrapur, Biratnagar, Dhangadhi and other airports. In 2006, nine persons were killed after the Yeti Airlines plane crashed in a remote mountainous district of Western Nepal.
All nine people on board, including six passengers, two pilots and a flight attendant were killed when the Twin-Otter crash in Jumla district.