Pilot of ill-fated Air India Express airplane was ‘Sword of Honour’ winner

Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 7

Deepak Vasant Sathe, the captain of the ill-fated Air India Express Boeing 737 plane that crashed at Kozhikode on Friday, had bagged the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’ on passing out from the Air Force Academy.

At current, he was a part of the federal government’s Vande Bharat Mission, engaged in evacuating Indian nationals stranded abroad as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, IAF officers recognized to him mentioned.

Hailing from a defence household, he was a part of squadrons now flying French Mirage-2000 and Rafale fighters and his service introduced him to air bases situated on this a part of the nation. 

The former MiG-21 fighter pilot belonged to the 58th Course of the National Defence Academy, Kharakvasla, the place he was a gold medalist. Thereafter, he proceeded to the Air Force Academy, Dundigal, and was a part of the 127th Pilot’s Course, the place he was awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’ for topping the course.

Wing Commander Sathe had additionally served as a take a look at pilot with the Air Force Systems and Testing Establishment, Bengaluru, throughout his stint with the Air Force. He was commissioned in June 1981 and took untimely retirement in 2003 following which he entered the civil aviation sector with Air India.

During the sooner days of his profession, he served with No.7 Squadron, the Battle Axes, which was based mostly in Chandigarh from 1973 to 1985, earlier than it moved to Gwalior and was re-equipped with the Mirage 2000.

Air Force sources mentioned that he had additionally served with No.17 Squadron, the Golden Arrows, which has not too long ago been re-commissioned at Ambala with the IAF’s newest acquisition, the Rafale fighter jet.

According to sources, Sathe was very skilled on the Boeing 737 plane, which he was flying with the nationwide flag provider for the previous about 17 years. Earlier, he had additionally flown the Airbus A-310.

Hailing from a defence household, he leaves behind a spouse and two sons, each of whom are alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. His father is a retired Brigadier settled at Nagpur, whereas his brother, Capt Vikas Sathe who died within the line of responsibility in Jammu and Kashmir, based on a submit on social media by his relative. 


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