Captain Deepak Vasant Sathe, the pilot who died in Kerala plane crash, was a decorated ex-IAF officer

He was a decorated former India Air Force pilot, ‘Sword of Honour’ awardee and has also served with No.17 Squadron, Golden Arrows, which was recently recommissioned with the Rafale fighter jet.

Avatar Written by August 8, 2020 10:46

New Delhi: Captain Deepak Sathe-the pilots of the Air India Express plane that skidded off the runway and broke into two at Kerala’s Kozhikode were among the 20 who lost their lives on Friday evening. They were Wing Commander Deepak Vasant Sathe and Captain Akhilesh Kumar.

He was a decorated former India Air Force pilot, ‘Sword of Honour’ awardee and has also served with No.17 Squadron, Golden Arrows, which was recently recommissioned with the Rafale fighter jet.

“Capt Deepak V Sathe was from 58th course of National Defence Academy, Pune. He was from Juliet Squadron,” said Air Marshal Bhushan Gokhale (Retd) adding that Sathe passed out from Air Force Academy with Sword of Honour in June 1981 and was a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force.

He had also won the sword of honour at the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad and was an accomplished fighter pilot before becoming a commercial pilot.

Captain Deepak V Sathe was from 58th course of the NDA. He was from the Juliet Squadron.

He passed out from Air Force Academy in Hyderabad with a Sword of Honour in June 1981.

According to reports, Captain Sathe flew Airbus 310s for Air India. He was an accomplished fighter pilot before he decided to become a commercial pilot.

Captain Akhilesh Kumar, his co-pilot, had been married last year.

According to flight-tracking website FlightRadar24, the aircraft circled the airport several times and made two attempts to land on the tabletop runway, surrounded by deep gorges on both sides.

Helplines: Air India Express – 1800 2222 71, Airport Control Room – 0483 2719493, Malappuram Collectorate – 0483 2736320, Kozhikode Collectorate – 0495 2376901.

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