Hyderabad: Wing Commander Deepak Vasanth Sathe (retired) killed in the Kozhikode plane crash on August 7th, was an alumnus of the Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet in Hyderabad.
The pilot joined the Indian Air Force in 1981 and has a glorious history. Speaking to Newsmeter,a former classmate said,"Deepak Vasanth's father Brigadier Vasant Sathe (retired) served in Hyderabad for a brief time.We studied in Hyderabad Public School between 1969-71, before the family moved to the next posting. Years after he joined the IAF, he suffered a motor-cycle accident and was admitted to the Millitary Hospital for a 6 months. Later,he returned to service, he was known for his agility. Deepak went on to become a Test pilot for Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). The pilot and his family are settled in Mumbai while his parents in Nagpur".
Another close friend told NewsMeter, "Deepak was a talented guy, very good in studies, was both a boxing and squash champ in school, and he maintained that in National Defence Academy too.Long back, sometime in 82-83, both he and his elder brother Vikas had serious road accidents, at seperate places. Captain Vikas Sathe died in Punjab,he served in the J & K region. Deepak had a motorbike accident while posted in Chandigarh. He suffered a serious head injury and remained in the hospital for 6 months. Getting back to fighter flying and than a Test Pilot showed his sheer will power and talent".
Fellow pilots said that Captain Sathe was an exceptional pilot and part of Air Force Academy's 127th course.
Air India Express Limited stated that seventeen people, including two pilots, were killed when an Air India flight coming from Dubai crashed while landing at the Kozhikode Airport in Kerala on Friday evening.
As per the civil aviation authorities, the Air India Express flight IX 1344 operated by B737 Boeing aircraft from Dubai to Calicut overshot the runway at Kozhikode at 17.41 PM.
Sources informed Newsmeter that while Sathe initially tried to land on runway number 28 of the airport, after noticing flooding, he decided to land on runway number 10. The pilot was forced to land at the runway since the plane did not have enough fuel to divert the landing elsewhere.
Upon touching the ground, the brakes of the plane proved to be ineffective. As a result, the aircraft broke through a wall and split into two parts killing Sathe on the spot.
Sources told Newsmeter that Kozhikode is a tabletop runway. Despite being closed for the last two years due to an accident, it was opened again under pressure from higher authorities.
Officials from Air India visited the crash site and launched investigation. Air India, in the morning hours of 8th August, stated that the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, Chief Executive Officer of Air India Express, Chief of Operations, and the Chief of Flight Safety of Air India Express have arrived at Calicut to proceed with the introspection of the runway.