Pune, Dec 25: The body of a 19-year-old trainee pilot from Pune, who was killed when his aircraft crashed in the hills of Chhindwara near the Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh border, was recovered by the Madhya Pradesh Police Wednesday, an officer said.
The victim – Sohel Zahiruddin Ansari – had taken off along with another pilot in a small Diamond DA-40 aircraft on a three-hour training flight from Birsi airport in Gondia in eastern Maharashtra Tuesday afternoon.
“The flight took off around 12.30 p.m. and was scheduled to return by 3.30 p.m., but an hour into the air, it lost all ground contact and was reported missing,” a police official from Gondia told IANS.
Early Wednesday, some tribals and villagers in Chhindwara district reported sighting the debris of the aircraft in the nearby hills and alerted police and district officials.
Police officer B.C. Jharia of Mahuljhir police station said a search party ventured for over two km into the dense forests called Tamia hills and recovered Ansari’s body Wednesday evening. But there is no information about the other pilot.
Ansari was a student of the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy, based at Fursatganj airport in CSM Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.
“We are awaiting instructions about where to send the body, to his hometown Pune or to Uttar Pradesh,” Jharia said.