NEW DELHI: A Delhi boy, Bhavye Suneja, was captain of the ill-fated Indonesian carrier Lion Air’s Boeing 737 Max that crashed into the sea while operating a domestic fQt from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang on Monday with 189 people on board
Bhavye Suneja was killed in the plane crash, the Indian Embassy said in Jakarta.
“Our deepest condolences on the tragic loss of lives in the Lion Air Plane crash, off the coast of Jakarta today. Most unfortunate that Indian Pilot Bhavye Suneja who was flying JT610 also lost his life… Embassy is in touch with Crisis Center and coordinating for all assistance,” Indian Embassy in Jakarta tweeted.
Suneja, a resident of Mayur Vihar who passed out of the locality’s Ahlcon Public School in 2005, joined Indonesian Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Lion Air in March 2011 where he flies the Boeing 737. The VP of a leading airline in India that operates the Boeing 737 said Suneja, 31, was considering returning to India.
“We spoke this July. He is a very sweet sounding person. Being an experienced pilot of the B737 with an incident, accident free record, we were keen to have him with us because of his good credentials. His only request was that he wanted a Delhi posting as he is from the city,” said the senior official.
“Since most of the pilots are from north India and they want Delhi posting, I told him that once he flies with us for a year we will consider his posting in Delhi. He wanted our assistance in getting an Indian ATPL (commander’s licence). Some other pilots from Lion Air have also joined us recently,” said the official.
According to his Linkedin profile, Suneja, 31, got his pilot licence from Bel Air International in 2009. In March 2011, he joined Indonesian low-cost airline Lion Air that is based in Jakarta.
Suneja’s Facebook page shows him a happy family man. An October 2016 picture shows his Captain’s hat and epaulettes with four stripes. Presumably, this is when he graduated to a captain from the first officer.
The aircraft involved in the crash is Boeing 737 Max. Indian carriers, Jet Airways and SpiceJet, have ordered hundreds of this aircraft. The Max which crashed Monday had joined Lion Air fleet on August 15, 2018, and had flown for 800 hours. Captain Bhavye Suneja and co-pilot Harvino were operating Monday’s fight JT 610. According to Lion Air, Suneja has 6,000 flight hours of experience and the co-pilot has 5,000 flight hours.