A former IAF Wing Commander, Captain Sathe was ordered into service on June 11, 1981, and retired on June 30, 2003. He flew through the Airbus 310 for Air India before moving to Air India Express on the Boeing 737. Captain Sathe has won the sword of honor at the Air Force Academy and was an accomplished, fighter pilot. He was also a HAL test pilot.

Captain Sathe was from Mumbai and resided in Jalvayu Vihar in Powai.


“After retiring from the IAF and joining a commercial airline, he was keen to become a commanding pilot. He would ask a lot of questions during training sessions,” said a former pilot of Air India.

“He had joined Air India in 2003-04 and was operating the Airbus A310,” said an official. The A310 is a wide-bodied aircraft. Later he shifted to Air India Express, a subsidiary of Air India, where he was operating the Boeing 737, a narrow-bodied plane, the officials said.

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He did his schooling from Cambrian Hall in Dehradun, Uttrakhand. In June 1981, he passed out from the Air Force Academy at Dundigal near Hyderabad. He was from the 58th course of the National Defence Academy, Pune.

Physical Appearance

Height :           5’10”
Eye Colour:      Grey
Hair Colour :    Pepper {semi-bald}


He was born in a Hindu family. His father was army personnel too. He was married and had two sons. He was residing in Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra with his family.

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The Dubai-Kozhikode flight Captain Sathe was commanding on Friday was a Boeing 737.

“There were a total of 184 passengers, including 10 infants and six crew members, including two pilots, onboard Dubai-Kozhikode Air India flight (IX-1344) that skidded during landing at Karipur Airport today,” said the Air India Express. The plane has broken into two parts.

Civil aviation ministry sources said Captain Sathe had made a first attempt to land amid heavy rain, which he had to abort. He made a second attempt, during which the plane crashed.

“The instrument landing system guides a pilot till a certain height and then it is up to the pilot to see the runway touchpoint and decide on landing. The pilot has to assess whether he or she can complete the aircraft landing process after the touchdown,” said an air traffic control official. “When it rains heavily, as was the case in Kozhikode, the aircraft needs more runway length to finish the landing process because of the slippery surface.”