Air India Pilot D V Sathe’s Cousin Pens Powerful Note For Brother Who Saved Hundreds Of Lives


The Kozhikode Air India Express crash, that has shaken the nation, has claimed 18 lives so far. And, while 172 people have been admitted to the hospital, the tragic situation could have been much worse if it wasn’t for the flight’s Captain Deepak Vasant Sathe, who is among the casualties, along with his First Officer, Akhilesh Kumar.

Hundreds of lives were reportedly saved as Captain Deepak, who is a retired Wing Commander of the Indian Air Force (IAF), turned off the plane’s engine right before the crash, thus ensuring that the aircraft didn’t catch fire upon landing. Union minister V Muraleedharan said a lot of people were saved as the fuel tank of the plane did not go up in flames because of the commander’s actions. He was quoted saying by News18,

“The pilot switched off the engine and that could be the reason the plane did not catch fire.” 

Neela Sathe, the mother of late captain Deepak was quoted saying by DNA, “He was a great son and always the first one to help others in need. He sacrificed his life for the country.”

In fact, Deepak’s cousin Nilesh Sathe remembered his brave brother, who has now been hailed as a hero by many, in an emotional post:

Its hard to believe that Dipak Sathe, my friend more than my cousin, is no more. He was pilot of Air India Express carrying passengers from Dubai in ‘Vande Bharat Mission’, which skidded off the runway at Kozhikode International Airport yesterday night.
Dipak was an experienced aerial operator with 36 years of flying experience. A pass out of NDA, topper in the 58th course and an awardee of ‘Sword of Honour’, Dipak served Indian Air Force for 21 years before joining as a Commercial Pilot with Air India in 2005.
He called me just a week before and was jovial, as always. When I asked him about the ‘Vande Bharat’ Mission, he was proud of bringing back our countrymen from Arab countries. I asked him, “Dipak, do you carry empty Aircraft since those countries are not allowing entry of passengers?” He had replied,” Oh, No. We carry fruits, vegetables, medicines etc to these countries and never the aircraft flies to these countries empty.” That was my last conversation with him.
He survived in an air crash in the early nineties when he was in Airforce. He was hospitalised for 6 months for multiple skull injuries and nobody thought that he will fly again. But his strong will power and love for flying made him clear the test again. It was a miracle.
He leaves behind his wife and two sons, both pass outs of IIT Mumbai. He is a son of Colonel Vasant Sathe who stays in Nagpur along with his wife. His brother, Capt Vikas, was also an Armyman who laid his life while serving in the Jammu region.
A soldier lays his life to save the lives of his countrymen.
It reminds me of a poem by a soldier :
If I die in a war zone,
Box me up & send me home
Put my medals on my chest,
Tell my Mom I did the best
Tell my Dad not to bow,
He won’t get tension from me now,
Tell my brother to study perfectly,
Keys of my bike will be his permanently
Tell my Sis not to be upset,
Her Bro will not rise after this sunset
And tell my love not to cry,
“Because I am a soldier Born to Die….”

Have a look at the entire post here:

Its hard to believe that Dipak Sathe, my friend more than my cousin, is no more. He was pilot of Air India Express…

Posted by Nilesh Sathe on Friday, August 7, 2020

The investigation about how exactly the crash happened is still on. A salute to the hero who sacrificed his life while saving so many others. May his soul rest in peace.

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