Mumbai plane crash: Before tragedy that killed 5, Rs 8 crore spent in 3 years on repair

New Delhi: Five persons including one pedestrian were killed on Thursday afternoon when a chartered planed crash landed in Mumbai’s densely populated Ghatkopar area. The deceased include two pilots — Captain Pradeep Rajput, woman pilot Captain Mariya — and woman aircraft maintenance engineer Surabhi, who was more than two months pregnant, and junior technician Manish Pandey. The maintenance personnel were from Indamer Aviation Pvt Ltd. The fifth person was identified as Govind Pandit. He was burnt fatally when some burning fuel from the aircraft fell on him. Three others were also injured in the incident.

Eyewitnesses said the aircraft was seen hurtling down in the narrow Jeevdaya Lane area and crashed into an under construction building before breaking into pieces. While pilot PS Rajput had joined UY Aviation three months ago, Marya had joined the company earlier this month. Indamer operates Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) for flights from Juhu airport. The remaining two persons who were on board, were from Indamer. The company was founded in 1939.

1. The aircraft was bought by Mumbai-based UY Aviation Pvt Ltd from the Uttar Pradesh government in 2015. The plane had earlier met an accident in Allahabad around eight years ago. However, no one was killed in the incident. The IE report cited a senior UY Aviation official to confirm that the plane was previously owned by the UP government and had met a minor accident between 2009 and 2010. The official said that the aircraft was ground since then before the UY Aviation finalised a deal to buy it in 2015. “In UP, the aircraft was used for official government purposes.”

2. The faulty aircraft was on a test flight on Thursday when the incident happened. It was the first test flight of the aircraft after repair and maintenance for around 3 years. According to a report in The Indian Express, the Mumbai-based aviation company, after purchasing the Beechcraft King C90 plane in 2015 from the UP government, spent close to Rs 8 crore to repair it. The repair of the 22-year-old plane included new spare parts and various maintenance requirements.

3. The IE report said that the plane had completed preliminary tests inside the Juhu aerodrome. “After completing some ground tests earlier, it was conducting its first flight today after maintenance,” a Juhu airport official said.

4. The plane had completed 40 minutes journey with four persons on board, the IE report said, quoting Juhu aerodrome sources. They said that 10 minutes before landing, the plane lost communication with the Airport Traffic Control (ATC) of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

5. P Kuthariya, husband of the deceased lady pilot, claimed that before taking off from the Juhu Aerodrome, his wife had informed him that the test flight will be difficult due to bad weather. He said that the aviation company be blamed for the tragedy. “The incident could have been averted. Mariya had told me that the flight won’t be flown due to bad weather. The aviation company is responsible for this unfortunate incident.”
29/06/18 Financial Express

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