MUMBAI: The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Thursday said that the chartered plane that crashed in Mumbai killing five did not a have certificate of airworthiness. The Ministry said that the aircraft last flew in 2008 when it was with Uttar Pradesh Government. It was later bought by M/s UY Aviation in 2014 and had been under maintenance for the last one and a half years.
"UY Aviation Pvt Ltd King Air C-90 aircraft VT-UPZ has met with an unfortunate accident at Mumbai on 28 Jun 2018. The aircraft last flew on 22 Feb 2008 when it was with UP Govt. The aircraft was later bought by M/s UY Aviation in 2014. Thereafter, the aircraft was under maintenance for last one and a half years. Today was the first test flight of the aircraft upon completion of maintenance task before applying for grant of Certificate of Airworthiness/ Airworthiness Review Certificate by DGCA," a tweet by the Ministry said.
"As per the regulatory provisions, before any test flight, a certificate to the effect that the aircraft is fit for flight is required to be issued by the authorised certifying staff of the operator or MRO. The aircraft took off from Juhu airport for test flight. There were two pilots and two AMEs on board the aircraft. All on board aircraft along with one person on ground died in the unfortunate accident. AAIB will conduct the detailed investigation expeditiously," the ministry added.
Five people were killed on Thursday when a chartered plane crashed in the Ghatkopar locality in Mumbai. All four on board the King Air C90 12-seater aircraft - pilot Captian Pradeep Rajput, co-pilot Maria, an engineer Surbhi and a technician - were killed in the tragedy while one person on ground too lost his life.
Accusing the aviation company which owned the plane, Maria's husband P Kuthariya said his wife had informed him bad weather had grounded the plane. "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," he said.
Witnesses recalled a ghastly sight of a burning body as they ran out of their houses following the crash. "The explosions following the crash and flames leaping in the air were so huge that initially, we could not understand what has happened. The toll could have been higher had the plane hit any of the high-rises around the spot. The pilot did not let this happen. I think the pilot purposefully manoeuvred the plane to this site to avoid casualties," said Prakash S Giri, who lives opposite the construction site where the 12-seater plane crashed.
"We were having lunch when we heard the first explosion. We immediately rushed out..... Saw a burning body near the crash spot. We tried to save the man but the flames had engulfed him so completely that we found ourselves helpless," he said, recounting the horror.
Another local resident said after the crash, there were four-five more explosions. The police and other agencies struggled on Thursday to collect evidence from the spot as it rained incessantly. A police official said the CCTV footage from buildings in the area will be obtained in case it throws some light on how the crash happened.