Pilot served in IAF, won NDA Sword of Honour | India News – Times of India

Sathe had passed out from the Air Force Academy in June 1981

MUMBAI: Commanding pilot Deepak V Sathe is believed to have died on the spot.
Sathe lived in Powai with his family which includes his wife Sushma and two sons. His older son Shantanu got married March 8, days before the lockdown began on March 25. Shantanu works in the US while Sathe’s younger son Dhananjay is employed with a corporate firm in Bangalore.
A neighbour in Powai said, “Sathe and I were squadron mates in the Air Force, flying MiG-21s in the 1980s during our bachelor days. We have not received an official confirmation from Air India Express (about his condition). We fear the worst although we have not lost hope as yet. His wife Sushma is a strong lady and is quite composed. We are making arrangements for her to travel to Calicut on Saturday.”
He was a wing commander in the Indian Air Force from where he retired and joined Air India about 10 years ago. He flew the Airbus 310 for AI before moving to Air India Express on Boeing 737.
He had a rare passion for flying, said a distant relative who is a senior lawyer.
Sathe studied in Cambrian Hall school, Dehradun. Old school friends, who are from the defence forces, also rang his home to pay condolence.
Meanwhile in Pune, the former vice chief of the Indian Air Force, Air Marshal Bhushan Gokhale (Retd) said, “It is very unfortunate to lose a brilliant officer in this manner.” Sathe was from the 58th course of the National Defence Academy (NDA). “He passed out from the Air Force Academy with a Sword of Honour in June 1981. He was a fighter pilot and served as test pilot of the IAF. He was an excellent squash player too,” he said.
Gokhale, who investigated the Mangalore plane crash in which 158 passengers were killed in 2010, said, “The accumulation of rainwater on the runway surface in the rainy season is the riskiest thing for any pilot. There is a Standard Operating Procedure set up by the DGCA for clearing the water from the runway. The inquiry panel will check this aspect during the investigation.”

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