Accident: Summit L410 at Lukla on Apr 14th 2019

With my newfound interest in Lukla, due to Aerosofts latest release for aerofly, I was idly looking up videos on this airport when I came across this. First thought: “Holy crap, how the heck did that happen?!”

Its like those accidents you drive past on the highway that happened on a perfectly clear day in perfect weather, and you wonder if there were unknown extenuating circumstances, or if the accident was just as stupid as it appeared.

Admin edit - I’m going to remove the link to the video simply because it is very disturbing. The rotor blade penetrates the cabin and kills the first officer from what I’ve read. While it is an interesting video, it is pretty horrific. I’m fine with discussing it (or any accident), but if people want to view the video, they will need to go find it. Sorry, but I think its best that way or we get threads with some pretty ugly stuff in them.

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Probably ought to take that video down @HiFlyer looks to me like at least 2 people lost their lives in that one.

Just a suggestion :+1:


OK, fair enough if that is how you feel, I respect that. However, I would offer that Mudspike is a mature, slim aviation focused site. A number of forum participants are real world aviators. Others of us have worked with / been closely associated with aviation over our lives / careers. Some of those (perhaps the majority?) have unfortunately had first hand with the tragic side of aviation.

IMHO, forwarding a link to information / photos / videos of a real world aviation accident, on a Mudspike, when it is done in a serious, informative, non-sensationalized manner, is appropriate and not disrespectful to the victims.

I’ve read the guidelines (and have the Mudspike badge to prove it :slightly_smiling_face:) and do not think they prohibit such posts.

EDIT: I found a video. The accident aircraft evidently veered off the runway on takeoff. Asymmetrical Thrust? Brake lock on one main mount? Steering issue? We will have to wait for the accident report.

That said, I would think that Lukla’s small size / tight clearances between runway and helipad were a contributing factor; more so than it’s altitude or runway length…although the high slope of the runway may have had some effect.

I appreciate that you disagree @Hangar200 - and believe me, I completely understand the hipocracy that we can talk about combat stuff, blowing people up, and in general destroying things and creating mayhem with regards to flight simulations, and even some real world military stuff, but also restrict graphic imagery. My take is this though…if we start allowing embedded YouTube links to show really graphic things, where do we draw the line? I love watching military videos, but I don’t think we need to have gun cam footage of Apache’s dismembering terrorists or snipers taking the heads off of people sprinkled throughout the site.

It isn’t a science for sure - and I totally, 100% understand your respectful objection to the policy.

With regards to the incident - I think you nailed it - asymmetric thrust of some sort. Either runaway torque on the good engine, or maybe a mechanically stuck throttle or perhaps a camera or something jammed in it or something. Awful stuff no matter what the cause. I wasn’t actually aware that the LET 410 was flying into Lukla, I thought it was strictly Twin Otters and Do-228s and some smaller single engine aircraft.


Copy all WILCO.

As an engineer, and aviation enthusiast, I have always had a keen professional interest in reports on aviation accidents and have made a bit of a study on them. Thus I appreciate your insights into this accident. Thanks.


Another thing I’ve heard mentioned is that due to the slope of that runway…the beginning part starts out relatively flat and then you cross over that hump into the severe downslope. At that transition, the nose of the plane gets very light and steering authority is greatly reduced, and rudder effectiveness is very low because there is no airflow helping with that. So there is a period of a second or so where the nosewheel steering and rudder are not very effective. That said though, it looks like the plane is out of control prior to that. It really looks like a runaway torque or some significant steering failure.

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Yeah - likewise. My minor in college was Aviation Safety. Spent many hours out in the desert scrub of Prescott, Arizona walking through the excellent Embry-Riddle crash lab. Rumor has (speaking of morbid) that one year some students put a cow spine in the crashed 402 there for the next day’s class to discover. I like to believe that is true.

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I can honestly say I would prefer this not to be a place for crash videos where people died. The fact of the matter is that we don’t know who might stumble onto the site - maybe a father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, wife or husband of someone directly affected by the accident shown in a video. A link is maybe not so bad, at least it creates a buffer where you don’t have to click on it.

I know I would be upset to be confronted with the 2003 Firefly crash at Duxford. Some wounds never completely heal.


I feel like there is plenty of places you can get access to that if you want to see it. It’s not hard to find.

I’m FULLY up for funny or stupid mistakes (hand prop start and your cirrus drives off by itself) but when people lose parts of themselves or their lives it just doesn’t feel like it should be paraded to me. Family’s torn apart and loved ones who don’t come home is hard to watch.

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Excellently put.


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People bring a lot of baggage into this that simply was not there for me. I saw a plane crash and wondered how it happened, since I could see no obvious cause.

Perhaps I’m desensitized.

Pentagon press briefings show people fleeing just before bridges are blown up. Trackside footage shows race cars tumbling into crowds. After warning of disturbing footage, the news regularly shows crashing planes.

And many quite destructive and violent games are mentioned even here.

Perhaps its intent? I was curious about the cause of an accident, and showed said accident. All of the other stuff people are dragging in, never even occurred to me in this day and age when the examples I mentioned above are so common.

Of course, I agree with the decision of the mods, because hey, it’s not my site, and they get the last word.

But honestly, the details of this incident on my local CNN, including body bags being carried away, struck me much more personally than the fairly clinical cctv footage I posted.

I think it is precisely that it can all be found elsewhere that we don’t really need it here I guess is the point. I’m as interested as the next guy about aviation accidents, but there is enough actual death and destruction in the world that I just want this to be our refuge from a bit of that non-virtual reality. And again, I understand the hypocrisy of playing video games where we blow people and things up and yet not wanting real life footage and images here. It just makes it easier to police the site. As Daniel Tosh once put it:

“If I offend anybody tonight, I apologize. That’s not my intention. I’m not going to guess what your personal line of decency is; I cross my own from time to time – it’s how I know I still have one.”


It’s one way of looking at it. My take is that I was much more likely to get good insights on what happened on an aviation themed site than on my Farmville site. :rofl:

That’s about as much thought as I put into it. Essentially: where in my universe of sites-that-I-visit was I most likely to get informed opinions?

Instead of course, the subject has veered of into parts unknown, which I find interesting, but mildly frustrating as it seems to hint that the subject of airplane crashes might be out of bounds…

On airplane themed forums.

This actually reminds me of something that happened when FlightSim world was asking for feature suggestions, and I was one of those who mentioned more realistic crashes. The uproar was pretty incredible, and people surfaced who believed the request was ghoulish IE, Flight Sim was not a child’s game etc, etc. In fact a mod who apparently agreed closed the thread.

Flash forwards, and X-plane and others now model crashes much more explicitly than I was ever thinking of, (I just wanted some sparks, honestly) and people have no comment, which I find a fascinating juxtaposition about the difference between what is said… and reality.

I agree with the moderators choice, but I have to admit I find the community to be strange, sometimes.

Airplane crashes are a sensitive subject among pilots.

To put things into perspective, a friend of mine called Patryk Kwiatkowski (also known online as Kwiatek) had a fatal accident in an airplane crash a few weeks ago in his beloved Mustang Midget.

I flew with him online, I argued with him, I spoke with him, I laughed with him… I’ve never met him in real life but at some point you sort of feel like you know the person on a more personal level. If a video of his accident surfaced online, I’m not sure I could bear watching it. Accidents like that seem like a distant, abstract affair… but it really hits you once you’ve either had a near-accident yourself or an accident happened to someone you actually happen to know. For me, it’s simply horrifying… especially since I started flying myself IRL. Now… imagine if an actual relative of the deceased pilot found a forum post with a video…

Nothing on these forums forbids you from talking about air safety or accidents… but IMHO it’s a no-brainer that videos of the events themselves are just matter for private discussions instead of public ones.


I’m interested in crashes. I like to know if anything can be learned from them. I’m Not interested in watching people die.

In my own case I used to drive lorries. I ride motorbike and I’m a ppl training for CPL.

I cannot watch videos of lorry crashes. It hits far to close to home. I’ve lost friends in lorry accidents. I’ve had minor collisions but thankfully nothing serious (a good friend had a fatal accident with his 7 Yr old son in Greece)
The thought of something happening to me and my little boy or girl finding the footage of me later is hard to think about.

The problem I have personally with the footage above is that those people are not fighting for their country or freedoms. They aren’t under threat. They aren’t expecting to die that day.

They get up for work. Eat their breakfast. Kiss their kids goodbye and make plans with the wife for a date night next week when the grandparents have the kids for a night. They are probably thinking how much they have to do around the house and whether they can sneak a beer in after work.

Then all of that humanity and normality is extinguished in a heartbeat and all those moments and lives change irreparably forever. Not because of war. Or politics. Or terrorism. But a stuck throttle. Something completely mundane and normal. A cable not greased enough or slightly pinched along its routing. Is enough to devastate those poor families.

That’s why I can’t watch them. It’s too… Simple.


I completely and thoroughly support Paul Rix here.
Reporting of the accident is ok, embedding the video is not.
I’ve seen enough for a couple of lifetimes.



Just becasue I’m a nagging b*****d. :stuck_out_tongue:


Hahahhaha :ok_hand::ok_hand::joy::joy:


Didn’t want to be too perfect. :wink:


As the person who evidently started this discussion off track, I stand solidly behind Mudspike written guidance and the spirit of the consensus of the participants above. As I said to @BeachAV8R, “WILCO”.

To provide some background, I am not morbidly fascinated with the subject nor am I insensitive to those who’ve lost friends and/or lived ones in such tragedies.

Unfortunately I am counted in with the latter. I lost 17 shipmates to 5 aviation accidents during my sea tours on CV-67 (8, 3), LPH-9 (5, 1) and CVN-67 (4, 1). That does not include two accidents where the aircrew punched out successfully. One of the shipmates was my room mate, 1Lt Bobby Cox, USMC who was a good friend. I miss him.

Is it that experience over the years that has raised an interest in tis subject? Perhaps. In any event, I did not mean to bring up bad memories for anyone. Nor was my initial post anything more than just asking the collective, “where is the boundary and what is acceptable to discuss.” I think that has been more than adequately answered. I apologize if I stirred up anything more.