Capt. Deepak Sathe, pilot of the Air India Express flight who died after the plane crashed at Kerala’s Kozhikode airport on Friday, was an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA) here.
Twenty people, including two pilots, were killed and several injured when a Dubai-Calicut Air India Express flight with 189 passengers and six crew on board overshot the runway in Karipur airport and fell into a valley on Friday evening.
“Capt. Deepak V Sathe was from 58th course of National Defence Academy, Pune. He was from Juliet Squadron,” said Air Marshal Bhushan Gokhale (Retd).
“Sathe passed out from Air Force Academy with Sword of Honour in June 1981 and was a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force,” he added.
Capt. Sathe was also an excellent squash player, he reminisced.
'An experienced Boeing pilot'
In a statement, Air india said that Capt. Deepak Sathe was an experience Boeing 737-800 aircraft pilot, and that the families of both the pilots have been escorted to Kozhikode by the Angels of Air India.
"We would like to update that the Commander of the ill fated aircraft IX-1344 Capt. Deepak Vasant Sathe was an experienced Boeing 737-800 aircraft pilot and had earlier also flown the Airbus A-310. He had also won the sword of honour at the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad and was an accomplished fighter pilot before becoming a commercial pilot," it said.
"The family of the deceased Commander Capt. Deepak Vasant Sathe has been duly escorted by the Angels of Air India and the Emergency Response Team from Mumbai to Calicut. The family was escorted to the hospital where the mortal remains of the Captain were kept for post mortem," it added.