On Friday, an Air India Express flight crashed in Kozhikode after overshooting the runway with 190 people on board including Captain Deepak Sathe who was the pilot of the aircraft.
Captain Deepak died in the crash. The decorated officer was an alumnus of the National Defence Academy in Pune and also a former Indian Air Force Officer.
It is being said that he saved many lives by switching off the engine of the aircraft.
Captain Deepak Vasant Sathe is a very experienced hand at pilots seat. He saved many a lives in yesterday’s AI Express plane crash at Kozhikode by switching off the engine. Sadgati to his soul. Salutes to his professionalism even at the cost of life .— B L Santhosh (@blsanthosh) August 8, 2020
The captain had flown the MiG-21 fighter aircraft with 17 Squadron (Golden Arrows) in Ambala.
He had a 30-year long flying record with no accidents during which he worked for 18 years with Air India.
Air Marshal Bhushan Gokhale (Retd) shared a few things about the late Captain.
Capt Deepak V Sathe was from 58th course of National Defence Academy, Pune. He was from Juliet Squadron. Sathe passed out from Air Force Academy with Sword of Honour in June 1981 and was a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force.
Air Marshal Bhushan also recalls that Capt Deepak was an excellent squash player.
Along with Captain Deepak Sathe, the co-pilot, First Officer Akhilesh Kumar also died in the crash.
The squadron that the captain belonged to fought in the 1999 Kargil war and has been recently resurrected with the induction of Rafale jet fighters.
Capt Sathe had served as an instructor at the Air Force Training Academy and had opted for premature retirement from the IAF. After that, he started civilian flying and became a part of Air India.
As per reports, the captain is survived by two sons, one in Bengaluru while the other in the US. Both of them are expected to reach Kerala soon.
Till now 18 people have lost their lives because of the crash. The plan while landing on a tabletop runway skidded and nosedived into the valley.