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Mumbai plane crash: Pilot’s last conversation with ATC was about rough weather

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The pilot of the ill-fated King Air C-90 aircraft, which crashed in Ghatkopar last week killing four crew members and a construction worker, had pointed out to the Juhu ATC that the weather was very rough, according to sources.

The plane was also flying at a very low altitude than what it was supposed to fly.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the pilot was in touch with the ATC when the aircraft after flying for around 44 minutes crossed over to Vashi creek.

 The conversation happened between the ATC and the pilot was on frequency 118.1 MHz.

The conversation between ATC and the Pilot:

ATC to Captain P S Rajput: “You are on Mumbai airport approach path, turn right for landing.”

(Captain Rajput repeated the instructions and on affirmation from ATC, Mumbai)

Captain Rajput to ATC, gave affirmation but cited rough weather conditions: “Yes, the weather is bad.”

ATC asked the pilot to turn right for the Juhu aerodrome. This is when the pilot pointed out that they were experiencing very rough weather. This was the last contact as after that when ATC tried to contact the aircraft on the same frequency 118.1 MHz again, but there was no response.

ATC, then, contacted on the SOS frequency 121.5 MHz, but there was no response too. Following this, the ATC alerted all the agencies to prepare for rescue and search for the aircraft. Within seconds, it was found that the aircraft had crashed in Ghatkopar.

Sources from the AAI said that the investigators felt that the aircraft’s altimeter gave away due to which the pilots couldn’t maintain required altitude while flying over Sarvoday Nagar in Ghatkopar and were flying at a low altitude. It is then that they would have hit some tree or a building leading to a puncture in the aircraft and eventually lost control over the engines.

Fuel spill was found at the spot and the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board officials collected a tree branch few meters away from the spot where the aircraft crashed. It is suspected that the aircraft hit something and eventually the engines gave up and the communication devises also failed due to the impact.

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