DEHRADUN: Captain Deepak Sathe who sacrificed his life in the crash landing of an airplane in Kerala last week is recalled by his teachers as diligent and hardworking, while student peers in Dehradun call him an exceptional human being.
Dr SC Byala, principal of the institution where he was schooled said, "He was known as silent, hard-working and attentive student. He finished the task at hand in time."
Sathe studied in Dehradun school for 10 years as his father Vasant Damodar Sathe was posted as a Captain in the Indian Military Academy in the foothill town.
However, his father was transferred from Dehradun a year later but was back in the city in the year 1970.
The former Indian Air Force pilot secured the third position in his class 10 in the year 1975.
Later, after completing his class 11 education, he had to move to another city with his father and brother who studied with him in the same school in Dehradun.
Air Marshal (Retd) DS Rawat, his senior in Air Force Academy, Hyderabad who now resides in Dehradun recalling him said, "He was exceptional.and passed out from the National Defence Academy with gold medal and 'Sword of Honour'."
Sathe's first posting was in the famous 17 squadron (Golden Arrows), in which Rafaels have been inducted by the IAF.
"He was an exceptional pilot, a good human being and a compassionate man. This accident has taken away him from us. This loss is irreparable," added Rawat.
A former Wing Commander of the IAF, he flew MiG-21 fighter aircraft with the 17 Squadron (Golden Arrows) in Ambala. He had even survived an air crash in the 1990s in which he suffered multiple injuries to his skull and was hospitalized for around six months.
Declared as not fit for flying, he cleared flying tests and started his flying career again.