Nepal Plane Crash vs Miracle on Hudson: Same day, 14 years apart, different ending

The date January 15 will forever be etched in the history of aviation disasters. Two separate aviation crashes took place on the same day, 14 years apart, and both had contrasting ending. While in one crash, the bravery and skills of the pilot saved lives of 155 people, in another, 72 people lost their lives, to either pilot’s fault, or plane’s technical malfunction. These two incidents are the plane crash in Nepal which happened on January 15, 2023 killing all 72 passengers on board the Yeti Airlines flight. The other one happened on January 15, 2009, when Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger managed to save lives of 155 people on board US Airways flight, landing the plane on the Hudson river. 

A Yeti Airline’s plane operating an ATR-72 with 72 people, including 68 passengers and 4 crew members crashed while landing at the Pokhara International Airport in Nepal on January 15, 2023. Pokhara is a popular tourist destination in Nepal and its international airport was recently inaugurated, and has been built with China’s financial help. The plane crashed between the old airport and the Pokhara International Airport, while landing and a video shot on mobile revealed the planed banked hard on the left, almost 90 degrees before crashing.

The ATR 72 aircraft, which was flying from Kathmandu to Pokhara was carrying two infants, four crew members and 11 foreign nationals, including 5 Indians. While the exact factors for the crash will be known only after completion of the detailed probe, initially, it looks like the possibility of mishandling by the pilot or malfunctioning of the plane’s angle of attack system, experts believe. As seen in the video, the weather was perfectly fine on the day of the crash.

Miracle on the Hudson

On January 15, 14 years ago, a US Airways flight 1549 landed in the Hudson river when it struck a flock of birds shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport,  New York City, losing all engine power. There were 155 people on board the flight operating an Airbus A320. All the passengers came out safely from the plane and were rescued by nearby boats, with only a few serious injuries. The media quickly dubbed the incident as “Miracle on the Hudson”, while the United States’ National Transportation Safety Board official described it as “the most successful ditching in aviation history”.

The pilots and flight attendants were awarded the Master’s Medal of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators in recognition of their “heroic and unique aviation achievement, while Captain Sully became a hero in the world. A movie was made based on the heroics of the former fighter jet pilot, starring Tom Hanks and premiered in 2016.

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