Dubai: Wing Commander Captain Deepak Vasant Sathe lost his life on Friday when an Air India Express flight he commanded skidded off the Karipur Airport runway in Kozhikode. The flight which took off from Dubai was part of the Vande Bharat repatriation mission for expatriates from the UAE.
The first report of death in the tragic incident was that of the pilot. Captain DV Sathe was accompanied by Captain Akhilesh Kumar as co-pilot, who was seriously injured and moved for treatment but was later reported dead. 17 deaths in total have been reported as of the time of publishing.
Who was he?
Captain DV Sathe was an Indian Air Force retiree and a senior Wing Commander who hailed from the state of Maharashtra. With over 30 years of flying experience, he reportedly graduated from the 58th course of the National Defence Academy.
Sathe reportedly went on to graduate with a 'Sword of Honour' from the Air Force Academy. The 'Sword of Honour' is awarded to the cadet first in the order of merit when passing from national service training academies including those of the defence, navy or the air force.
Sathe was commissioned with the Indian Air Force in 1981 and retired in 2003 as an ace test pilot, Indian outlets reported. With Air India, he reportedly flew the Airbus 310 before taking on Boeing 737 commercial flights for Air India Express.