Kerala Flight Pilot Who Flew MIG-21 in IAF Survived a Crash in 90s

Captain DK Sathe was the pilot of the Air India Express plane that crashed at Karipur airport in Kozhikode. 

2 min read
Captain Deepak Vasant Sathe.

Captain Deepak Vasant Sathe, the pilot of the Air India Express plane that skidded off the runway while landing at Kerala's Kozhikode, was a former Indian Air Force pilot.

At least 14 people are reported to have lost their lives in the crash after the aircraft overshot the runway.

“He was a great son and always the first one to help others in need. His teachers still appreciate him,” Neela Sathe, mother of late captain DV Sathe told ANI.

Captain Sathe is survived by his parents, wife and two sons. His father Colonel Vasant Sathe and mother, Neela, stay in Nagpur. His brother, Vikas Sathe, who was an Indian Army officer, had lost his life while serving in Jammu and Kashmir.

Capt Sathe Survived Crash During his Days in IAF

In a post on Facebook, Captain Sathe’s cousin and National Highways Authority of India’s financial advisor, Nilesh Sathe wrote, “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."

Nilesh Sathe said that Dipak had once miraculously survived an air crash in the 1990s while serving in the Indian Air Force.

“He survived an air crash in the early nineties when he was in air force. He was hospitalised for six 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," Nilesh Sathe said in his post.


Celebrated Ex-IAF Officer

As per his service records, he retired as a Wing Commander on 30 June 2003. During his service, he was a fighter pilot and an experimental test pilot.

While not much more official information is available on his service yet, a Twitter handle identifying himself as former IAF officer tweeted that Wing Commander Sathe (retired) was the flight commander of No 17 Squadron stationed at the Ambala Air Force Station. “A very sharp officer and well-read,” he tweeted.

Another twitter user, Group Captain Christopher (Retd) who identified himself as Wing Commander Sathe’s coursemate wrote that Sathe had topped his course and had won the prestigious sword of honour.

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