By Arré Bench Aug. 10, 2020
Wing Commander Deepak Sathe, who saved numerous lives aboard the Air India flight that crashed in Kozhikode, hailed from a family of army men. His father is retired Colonel Vasant Sathe, and his elder brother, Lieutenant Vikas Sathe, died in an accident while on duty in 1981.
Days after news broke that an Air India flight had crashed in Kerala’s Kozhikode, the casualties continue to rise. As many as 14 passengers remain in critical condition, after the horrific incident claimed the lives of 18 people, and left hundreds injured.
Part of this unfortunate toll was the captain of the aircraft — Wing Commander Deepak Sathe, who is said to have saved numerous lives with his presence of mind before losing his own in the crash.
#AirIndia pays homage to Captain #DeepakSathe, the pilot of the ill-fated Air India Express flight who died after the plane crashed at Kerala’s #Kozhikode airport on Saturday pic.twitter.com/Qu1hruERFU
— Mid Day (@mid_day) August 9, 2020
Reports now say that the horrific crash took place on the same day the pilot had planned to celebrate his mother’s 84th birthday with her in Mumbai.
“He was a great son and always the first one to help others in need. He sacrificed his life for the country,” his grieving mother told reporters over the weekend, as the captain’s body was flown into Mumbai. “In the plane crash, the lives of 170 passengers were saved, but the person who saved their lives got killed. It was the wish of god.”
— LestWeForgetIndia🇮🇳 (@LestWeForgetIN) August 8, 2020
The late pilot comes from a family of army men. His father is retired Colonel Vasant Sathe. His elder brother, another accomplished army man, Lieutenant Vikas Sathe, died in an accident while on duty in 1981.
An image of the Wing Commander’s ageing parents grieving the loss of their second son in the line of duty was shared widely on social media, moving some to tears.
No words for this picture of the parents of Wg Cdr Deepak Sathe, pilot of the ill-fated #AirIndia flight. To lose another child at this age. They lost their 1st son Armyman Lt Vikas years ago in an accident in Punjab. Now this. How cruel the world can be. Prayers for their peace. pic.twitter.com/jQ2YMcyWAg
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) August 8, 2020
He was a great son & always first one to help others in need. His teachers still appreciate him: Neela Sathe, mother of late captain DV Sathe who was flying the flight which crash-landed at #Kozhikode airport
18 people, including the two pilots, lost their lives in the incident. pic.twitter.com/wm6GLbzth0
— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2020
Captain Deepak Sathe had served in the Air Force for 21 years before he joined Air India as a commercial pilot in 2005. Apart from his over 30 years of flying experience, he is also said to have topped his course at the National Defence Academy.
Aircraft was being commanded by one of our most distinguished commanders Captain #DeepakSathe; he had more than 10,000 hours of flying experience and had landed on this (#Kozhikode) airfield as many as 27 times: @HardeepSPuri pic.twitter.com/EtZ2HPkooh
— DD News (@DDNewslive) August 8, 2020
“He was very helpful and would do anything for others. During the Gujarat floods, he had saved the children of servicemen by carrying them on his shoulders,” his mother told reporters from the couple’s Mumbai home.
Captain Deepak is survived by his wife Sushma, and three children, two of whom are alumni of IIT-Bombay. His funeral will be held in Mumbai tomorrow.