The tragic incident that shook the entire nation is taking some unfortunate twists and turns. The Air India Express flight crash-landed at Kerala's Calicut airport on Friday, which killed at least 19 people on board. The aircraft fell 30-40 feet into the valley from the tabletop runway during heavy rain and broke in two.
In the crash, Deepak Sathe - the commanding officer of crashed Air India Express flight, died. There were 190 people on board, including 6 crew members. Along with Captain Sathe, his co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar died in the deadly plane crash.
As the entire nation is grieving the loss of human life in the tragic accident, some have engaged in mud-slinging practices. Namely the DGCA, which has now come forward with an early verdict to drag the deceased pilots' dignity through the mud even before the investigation has started.
DGCA hangs dead pilots
DGCA chief Arun Kumar, IAS, told CNN News 18 that "there was the poor judgement of pilots while landing, the runway was long enough for a safe landing." The DGCA chief, at the beginning, acknowledges the fact that the investigation is underway, but goes on the question the pilot's judgement while landing.
"They (pilots) probably did not land the way they should have landed. It appears from the preliminary information we have that they (pilots) landed more than 3,000 feet on the runway. The runway is fairly long. It's almost 9,000 feet long runway. For a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, you don't require that long a runway. The runway even supports wide-body aircraft. They should have landed before 1,000 feet, but they have landed more than 3,000 feet or so.," Kumar was quoted as saying.
Nothing but praises for Capt. Sathe
India's Union Minister had contrary views. Hardeep Singh Puri said Captain Sathe was "most distinguished & experienced pilot." Air Commodore (Retd) A K Sinha, who was one year senior to Sathe at the National Defence Academy (NDA) further added to the praise.
"Sathe was a brilliant exceptional aviator. He had a very genuine interest in aviation and had a lot of motivation for aviation as a subject from the very beginning. He used to read a lot keep him abreast with the latest developments in the field of aviation," Sinha told Sputnik.
Sathe had also received the Sword of Honour, which is the highest honour given to passing out officer cadet in 1981. The late pilot was a gold medalist at the NDA. After he retired in 2003, Sathe joined the country's flagship carrier Air India.