Ghatkopar plane crash: Pilot's husband raises questions

Ghatkopar plane crash: Pilot's husband raises questions

Firefighters try to douse the flames of the King Air C-90 plane that crashed in Mumbai. PTI photo.

The journey had started auspiciously enough. Owned by the Uttar Pradesh government till a couple of years ago, UY Aviation Pvt Ltd had brought out King Air C-90 for its first test ride. The four-member crew even broke the customary coconut near the nose wheel of the flight.

But families of the crew have an ominous story to tell. “Maria told me last evening, and this morning as well, that the weather was not good,” co-pilot Capt Maria Zuibair’s husband Prabhat Kathuria said.

“What was the hurry? They clearly ignored weather warnings,” he asked, adding that it was because of the experience of the crew that the plane didn’t crash over a crowded locality or the school.

“The company is answerable,” he said, “We would think about (legal action).

That a private plane such as this was in the “funnel zone” of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, which is meant for commercial flights, has invited criticism from many.

BJP MP Kirit Somaiya wanted to know how a plane under repair can be allowed to undertake a test run over a residential area. “Who gives such permission or certification?” he said.

This incident could point out a major issue in Mumbai’s civil aviation norms.

According to reports, the plane is owned by Deepak Kothari, the owner of Pan Parag. However, it could not be independently confirmed.

Deepak Kothari is the CMD of the Kothari Products Pvt Ltd, popularly known as the Kothari Group. In the past, he had been on the board of directors of Air India and Indian Airlines.