Abu Dhabi: At the age of 21, as a pilot, promising Mohammad Al Kaabi was flying an Airbus-320, attracting the admiration of his friends.
“It was inspiring to watch an internal training video from Etihad in which Mohammad explains about flights.
“Many who watched that video say they cannot sleep at all after hearing about his death,” a friend said yesterday about Mohammad Al Kaabi, who died in a horrific road crash which also killed his father, brothers and four sisters in Oman on Monday.
Hassan Al Beloushi, a friend of Mohammad who tried out as a cadet with him, said he cannot believe such an enthusiastic young man is no more. “He was the most enthusiastic man I have ever seen.”
He admired Mohammad for his abilities and achievements. “He outsmarted me in 2007. He was one among the 20 who was selected out of 3,000 young Emiratis for the first batch of the Etihad cadet pilots programme.”
He excelled in 13-hour-long tests in physics, maths and calculus. He also did well in group assessment and psychometric tests.
That inspired Al Beloushi to try again and join the same programme later and become a captain of his batch.
There he met Mohammad’s elder brother Humaid Al Kaabi, 27, who was his classmate.
“Along with Humaid, I had more opportunities to experience the enthusiastic presence of Mohammad.” Al Beloushi said.
He was an asset to Etihad Airways and this nation.
“He could have contributed a lot in his profession.”
Through his brother Humaid Al Kaabi, the 40 cadets in the Etihad cadet pilot programme at Abu Dhabi University became close to Mohammad and his family, Al Beloushi said.
The Al Kaabi family treated their son’s friends as part of their own family.
During Ramadan, over the past two years, Saif Al Kaabi and his wife Mariam used to send food from their home in Al Wathba in Abu Dhabi to all the classmates, about 40, of their son Humaid.
“That love and consideration for us made us think that we were part of that family,” Al Beloushi said. “We are unable to believe that a tragedy like this has struck such a loving family,” he said.
The family were living in their Abu Dhabi home and spending weekends in Al Ain, from where they left for a holiday in Salalah, Oman.