MUMBAI: The post-mortem report of the people who lost their lives in the recent plane crash in Mumbai's Ghatkopar has highlighted 'shock due to burn and poly-trauma' as the cause of death.
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 the ground too lost his life.
The plane was about to land at the airport when it crashed near Jagruti building, where construction work was underway.
According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), two pilots, two aircraft maintenance engineers, and one other person lost their lives in the crash.
Days after the crash, several shocking revelations showing blatant violations of norms laid down by the DGCA came to fore. A DGCA team went to the mishap site to collect the debris of the plane and the black box for further probe.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation had 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 the 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 the test flight. There were two pilots and two AMEs on board the aircraft. All on board aircraft along with one person on the ground died in the unfortunate accident. AAIB will conduct the detailed investigation expeditiously," the ministry added.
Meanwhile, husband of the co-pilot of the chartered plane too sought to know who cleared the flight despite the adverse weather conditions and if the aircraft was fit for flying.
Prabhat Kathuria, the husband of Maria Zuberi, the co-pilot who along with four others was killed in the incident, is still to come to terms with the loss.
In a statement issued here, he said, "The company involved in the ill-fated plane's repairs seems to have been incapable of detecting the technical snags that could have led to its crash."
Kathuria said that his wife had mentioned to him that the weather conditions were not conducive for a test flight to be conducted for a small plane like Beechcraft King Air C90 aircraft.
"She left the house assuring me she would return rather soon as the weather conditions were clearly not right for a test flight of a small plane such as the Beachcraft King Air twin turboprop," he said.
"She was sure that the permission to undertake such a flight would not be given," the statement read.
"Considering Captain (Pradip) Rajput held and shared the same view with Maria, I was confident they would not fly this day. The weather conditions were just not right," he said.
Kathuria also questioned if the aircraft was fit to fly.
"We know that the aircraft was well beyond its prime. We know it was more than 20 years old. We know it had already had an accident in 2009 and that the UP government chose to sell it rather than spend on its repairs. Considering all... The family of Marya Zuberi wants answers. We want to know who exactly was at fault," he said.
Kathuria said UY Aviation, the owners of the aircraft, "seem to have completely disregarded their responsibility to check whether such a plane should go off the ground".
Pointing out that the DGCA norms do not permit test flights of small planes in the rainy weather, Kathuria asked who allowed the flight to take off in the first place.
"Did officers within the agency allow the flight, that clearly flouted its own norms? We want to know who took the call from DGCA's side," he said.
Kathuria also said that neither government agencies nor the owner of the aircraft had contacted the family members of the victims since the crash.
"So far the government structures and the companies have both failed us... The families of the victims are still to receive a word from any of these agencies," he said.
Soon after the crash, the Maharashtra government too ordered a probe into the ''unfortunate incident.''
(With Agency inputs)