Udayavni Special

Kozhikode aeroplane crash: Appreciations pour in for pilot who sacrificed himself and saved passengers


Team Udayavani, Aug 8, 2020, 1:14 PM IST

Malappuram: The special Air India Express flight that crashed on Friday night at Kozhikode International Airport in which 20 people died including the two pilots has brought out nationwide outpourings of grief and condolences.

Passengers who have survived the tragedy have expressed their praise for the pilot who sacrificed his life to save theirs.

The pilot and the local residents avoided a huge disaster. The locals rushed to the spot and extinguished the fire preventing it from spreading, said the passengers.

The pilot, Wing Commander Deepak Vasant Sathe (59 years), had served in the Indian Air Force for 22 years. He had graduated from the Air Force Academy at Dundigal near Hyderabad in 1981 with special honours.

After retiring as a Squadron Leader from the Air Force, Sathe started working in civil aviation.

On Friday, Sathe had warned before the flight landed that the weather is very bad. It had been raining heavily while the flight arrived from Dubai to Kerala.

Sathe had tried to land the plane safely, twice but he could not land it. While attempting the landing suddenly the plane skid, fell into the trench and broke into two killing him on the spot.

V Ibrahim, one of the passengers stated that it was a miracle that so many of the passengers survived even after the plane break off into two parts.

Of the 190 passengers, 123 were injured. Hospital sources said 20 people were in critical condition. Some passengers are reported to have sustained spinal cord injuries. 38 passengers are admitted at Kozhikode’s MIMS Hospital, 28 at Baby Memorial Hospital and 14 at Medical College Hospital.

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