Mumbai: The pilot of the ill-fated King Air C-90 aircraft, which crashed in Ghatkopar on June 28, killing four crew members and a construction worker, had told the Juhu Air Traffic Control (ATC) the weather was very rough. The plane was also flying at an altitude considerably lower than it was supposed to fly, sources said.
Preliminary investigation has revealed the pilot to have been in touch with the ATC when the aircraft, after flying for around 44 minutes, crossed over to Vashi creek. Sources said investigators felt that the aircraft’s altimeter gave way because of which the pilots were unable to maintain the required altitude while flying over Sarvoday Nagar in Ghatkopar. Flying so low, it was likely that they hit a tree or a building, leading to a puncture in the aircraft and eventually, they lost engine control.
The conversation between the ATC and the pilot was at a frequency of 118.1 MHz, wherein the ATC asked the pilot to turn right for the Juhu aerodrome. It was then that the pilot pointed out that they were experiencing “very rough weather”. This was the ATC’s last contact with the plane because afterwards, when it tried to contact the aircraft on the same frequency again, there was no response.
ATC then tried to contact the aircraft on the SOS (Save Our Souls) frequency –121.5 MHz — but received no response. Following this, it alerted all agencies to prepare for a search and rescue mission for the aircraft. Within seconds, it was learnt that the aircraft had crashed in Ghatkopar.