An association of ex-servicemen has demanded that Captain Deepak Sathe, who piloted the Air India Express flight which crashed in Kozhikode in Kerala on August 7, be given an award for saving the lives of most of the passengers.
He should be given the 'Uttam Jiwan Raksha Padak' for his gallantry, said Ex Air Warrior Welfare Association, Nagpur working president Pundalik Sawant on Monday.
The association paid tribute to the deceased pilot at a function in Shahid Smarak Ajni Square.
The Air India Express flight, with 190 people on board overshot the tabletop runway at Kozhikode airport on the night of August 7 while landing in heavy rain, fell into a valley 35 feet below and broke into two, killing 18 people.
Captain Sathe, 58, who was the pilot-in-command and his co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar were among those who died in the incident.
Sathe was a former Wing Commander of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and had served at the force's flight testing establishment.