Pilot Deepak Sathe cremated with state honours


Metros, Mumbai

The Maharashtra government said Capt Sathe was an inspiration to younger pilots

Wife Sushma Sathe and son Dhananjay Sathe of Air India Express pilot Captain Deepak Sathe, grieve as his body was laid out for final respects in Mumbai.(PTI)

Mumbai: Wing Commander Deepak Sathe (retd), pilot-in-command of the Air India Express plane that crashed at the Kozhikode airport in Kerala last week, was cremated here on Tuesday with state honours.

Mourners lined the road as the funeral procession started from his residence in Chandivli in Mumbai. The last rites were performed at the Tagore Nagar electric crematorium in Vikhroli in the presence of his relatives.

The number of people allowed to attend the last rites was restricted in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Relatives, friends and others, including Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar, paid floral tributes at his residence before the final procession began.

Slogans of "amar rahe" were raised when his body was being taken to the crematorium from the residence.

Earlier in the day, the Maharashtra government decided to accord a state funeral to the pilot, and said his life would inspire young pilots.

The flight from Dubai with 190 people, including a six-member crew, overshot the tabletop runway during landing at the Kozhikode airport in heavy rain on Friday, killing 18 people, including both the pilots.

Sathe's body was flown here on Sunday and was kept at the Air India facility near Terminal 2 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji international airport for some time before being taken to Bhabha Hospital in Bandra.

On Tuesday morning, the body was brought from the hospital to the family home in Chandivli.

Residents of the housing complex paid tributes to the pilot. Some were seen saluting him from their balconies.

The pilot's father, Col. Vasant Sathe (retd), 87 and mother Neela, 83, were present at the Chandivli residence. They reside in Nagpur and reached Mumbai on Monday.

The pilot's US-based elder son Shantanu also reached Mumbai on Monday for the last rites. He, along with his mother Sushma and younger brother Dhananjay, were in tears as the last rites were performed shortly after noon.

A wreath was placed on behalf of the Indian Air Force, where Sathe was a test pilot before joining Air India.

Pilots, cabin crew and others in the aviation sector also participated in the final journey.