Mumbai: The chartered plane that crashed on Thursday in Mumbai, killing four people on board and a pedestrian, could have smashed into a school. It was saved by the diligence of pilot Captain Maria Zuberi and Captain Pradeep S Rajput - said the pilot's husband P Kuthariya.
The pilot of the 12-seater Beechcraft King Air C90 turboprop had also managed to stay clear of the many high-rises in the congested Ghatkopar suburb of Mumbai.
The pilot, who was trying to make an emergency landing at the Mumbai airport after the plane developed engine trouble, fell short of the runway. The plane crashed into an empty construction site before the landing process could be completed.
Speaking to news agency ANI, P Kuthariya said before the flight took off from the Juhu Aerodrome for a test flight, his wife had informed him that the flight won’t be flown due to bad weather. The pilot’s husband further held the aviation company responsible for the crash. He said, “The incident could have been averted. Maria had told me that the flight won’t be flown due to bad weather. The aviation company is responsible for this unfortunate incident.”
P Kuthariya said he learnt of the news from the media. "I had texted her to see if she had landed or not... then saw the news on TV," NDTV reported Kuthariya saying.
He said he got to know that the pilots tried a lot to save the flight. "They crashed before they could complete emergency landing. Maria and Captain Rajput have given their lives for kids and people of Mumbai, they prevented the plane from crashing into a school," he added.
The locals say that the casualties in the Mumbai plane crash could have been more if close to 30 workers who were working at that construction site would not have gone on lunch break.
The aircraft belonged to Mumbai-based company, U Y Aviation Pvt Ltd.
Former aviation minister Praful Patel had also tweeted, applauding the pilots.
Apart from the two pilots, there were two others on-board. These included the aircraft maintenance engineer - Surabhi who was more than two months pregnant and aircraft junior technician Manish Pandey....