Air India Express flight IX 1344 operated by B737 aircraft from Dubai to Calicut overshot runway at Kozhikode International Airport on Friday evening. The Vande Bharat flight had 190 people on board, including 10 children and six crew members.
Captain Deepak Vasanth Sathe, 60, was among the 19 people who died in Air India Express tragedy.
Sathe was an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA) in Pune. He was a former Wing Commander of the IAF . He was a fighter pilot in the IAF. He was test pilot at HAL Bengaluru HQ. He won Sword of Honour at the Air Force Academy .
Record shows that he attempted to land the aircraft several times. Due to heavy rainfall, he steered the aircraft around the airport twice before managing to touch down, but it skidded off the runway due to hydroplaning .The aircraft then nosedived into a valley 35 feet below, and split into two.
B L Santhosh, BJP National General Secretary in a tweet said, ” 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.”
First Officer Akhilesh Kumar also died in the crash. Four crew members are safe Air India confirmed on Saturday .