Bangalore brothers' party ends in plane crash embers

Bangalore brothers' party ends in plane crash embers

Pratik Kalaichelvan and Kartik.

The single-engine plane slammed into a field in Hood County town of Tolar around 9:30 pm on Tuesday, ending what was to be a fun trip to Stephenville for a barbeque — a Texas treat for Pratik Kalaichelvan visiting his brother Kartik in Arlington.

The right wing of the 1964 Beechcraft Bonanza hit the ground, and the single-engine plane tumbled, according to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator, cited by local WFAA-TV.

Officials said the four-seater aircraft was registered to the pilot, 26-year-old Casey Brinegar. He died along with his friend and fellow pilot Kartik, 22, and his brother Pratik, 19, who were days away from returning to India. They were scheduled to visit Bangalore on July 26. The house, now locked, wears a deserted look.

Grief stricken parents of the two brothers - Kartik and Pratik — have left for the US, from their residence at Kalyan Nagar in Bangalore.

The duo were killed after their 1964 model ‘Beech Craft Bonanza’ aircraft crashed in Texas. The family has strong links with the aviation industry, with the duo’s father Alangiam P Kalaichelvan working as a pilot for Kingfisher Airlines. Kalyan Residency, where the family live, has been sharing the loss of the family. Neighbours of Kalaichelvans said that too were in a state of gloom, after hearing of the news.

“Rita, a former school teacher and mother of Kartik and Pratik, is totally devasted after she received the call from the US on Wednesday,” said a neighbour of the family.
“There were loud screams and cries at the apartment. Rita had just received a call from Texas informing her of the death of both her sons in an air crash. It’s extremely unfortunate that they have lost both their young sons in such a tragic manner,” said another neighbour.

Ambitious

Srinivas Kumar, secretary of Kalyan Residency, said: “I have known the family for the last ten years. Kartik was very passionate about flying and wanted to be a commercial pilot like his father. Every family member was very jovial.”

He added that Rita’s visa had expired, leading to a delay in the family’s departure to the US to bring the bodies back.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Dub Gillum said the “young pilot was looking for a place to land, I assume. He did a fabulous job by not crashing into a house.”
Friends cited by WFAA-TV said Casey Brinegar was a superb pilot and instructor at the Skymates flight school in Arlington, although Tuesday’s flight was strictly for pleasure in Brinegar’s personal plane.

An NTSB investigator said that a preliminary report on the air crash will be issued next week.

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