New Delhi: Parents of Captain Deepak Sathe, the former Indian Air Force (IAF) test pilot who was the commander of the ill-fated Dubai-Kozhikode Air India Express flight, on Saturday remembered him as a ‘great son’, who, they said, was always the ‘first one to help others in need’. Also Read - Air India Plane Crash 2020: Who Witnessed The Mishap First? What Exactly Happened When Flight No IX-334 Skidded Off Runway
They added that the late former Wing Commander’s teachers still appreciated him. Also Read - Air India Express Crash: Warning Ignored? DGCA Issued Show Cause Notice to Kozhikode Airport Last July
“He was a great son and always first one to help others in need. His teachers still appreciate him”, the deceased pilot’s mother, Neela Sathe told news agency ANI. Also Read - Air India Express Crash: How 'Hero' Captain Deepak Sathe Saved Hundreds of Lives
Notably, Captain Sathe has been hailed by experts and survivors for his handling of the situation. It has been noted that the number of casualties-18 thus far-could have been much more had the aircraft caught fire. However, according to reports, Captain Sathe switched off the engines to ensure that the plane didn’t catch fire upon landing, in the process, saving hundreds of lives.
However, along with his co-pilot, Captain Sathe is among those who didn’t survive the crash. The plane, operating under the ‘Vande Bharat’ mission, skidded off the tabletop runway at the Kozhikode Airport and plunged into a gorge after failing to land twice, amid heavy rains.
There were 191 people on board the doomed flight, including the two pilots and four cabin crew.
This is India’s worst aviation disaster in a decade after 2010’s Mangalore air crash, which took place under near-identical circumstances.