Kozikode Crash: Air India Express Flight Had Ex-IAF Pilot, ‘Sword Of Honour’ Awardee

New Delhi: The ill-fated Air India Express plane that skidded off the runway and crashed while landing at Kozhikode airport on Friday had decorated former Indian Air Force pilot and wing commander Deepak Vasant Sathe.

Former wing commander Sathe, a ‘Sword of Honour’ awardee, was one of the two pilots on the Dubai-Calicut Air India Express flight that crashed on Friday resulting in 16 deaths.

Captain Sathe belonged to National Defence Academy (NDA), Kharakvasla’s 58th Course where he won the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’ while passing out from NDA.

“There were 174 passengers, 10 infants, 2 pilots and 5 cabin crew onboard the aircraft. As per initial reports, rescue operations are on and passengers are being taken to hospital,” Rajeev Jain, Additional DG Media, Civil Aviation Ministry said.

“He (Captain Sathe) served under me when I was commanding 29 Squadron. He was a very fine pilot with a lot of qualifications. This is a very sad day for me,” Air Marshal PK Barbora was quoted as saying by Times Now.

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