A pall of gloom descended on the families of Marya Zuberi and Pradeep Rajput after the news of Ghatkopar plane crash reached their homes in afternoon on Thursday.
Zuberi and Rajput were the pilot and co-pilot of the ill-fated plane that crashed into an under construction site in Mumbai suburb around 1 pm.
While everyone is praising the quick thinking of the pilots that helped them to avert a massive disaster, the families allege that they were forced to fly in bad weather by the aircraft owning firm UY Aviation.
The relatives of both the pilots say that they were not ready to for the test flight because of bad weather conditions but were forced by the owners of the firm owning the 12-seater aircraft that was purchased from the Uttar Pradesh government in 2014.
However, Captain Sai Vinod of UY Aviation said they ‘wouldn’t not like comment now on what the family members say as they are now under emotional stress. But everything was planned.’
Five people died on Thursday afternoon after a chartered aircraft belonging UY Aviation crashed at Ghatkopar. All occupants on board including two pilots, one engineer and one technician along with a pedestrian died after the aircraft caught fire post crashing in open area of under-construction building.
Union Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu ordered a probe into the accident by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). “Saddened to hear the news about the aircraft crash in Mumbai. Have directed DGCA to conduct an investigation into the plane crash at the earliest. I’m in constant touch with on ground developments,” Prabhu tweeted.
“The aircraft VITPUZ of UY Aviation Limited departed from Juhu Airport on Thursday at 12.20 pm and lost contact from air traffic control (ATC) at 1.08 pm,” said an official at the Juhu Airport.
The official added, “We do not know why did the aircraft lost control from the ATC, and what went while they were on board before crashing at around 1.30 pm. The recovered black box from inside the flight will have conversation inside the aircraft before crashing, and DGCA that is probing the accident will give us more clarity. But major tragedy was averted as the aircraft crashed at empty area.”
The name of the five people killed in the crash include Captain Pradeep Rajput, Pilot Marya Zuberi, Surabhi Gupta (Engineer) and Manish Pandey (Technician) and a unidentified pedestrian. Along with it, three people are said to be injured.
Anil Chauhan, representative of UY Aviation said, “It was very unfortunate incident, the aircraft was completely fine during takeoff from Juhu Airport but only during landing the accident took place. We also do not know the exact reason of the accident yet, and DGCA will probe it.”
Further, a fire brigade team reached the spot with 3 fire engines and one jumbo water tanker as the aircraft caught fire post crashing. The fire was extinguished at around 1:40 pm.