Aarey chopper crash: Pal remembers Praful Mishra as 'a good pilot and an even better friend'

Updated: Dec 12, 2016, 18:02 IST | A Correspondent

At 55 years of age, Praful Mishra was a highly accomplished pilot who had spent most of his career flying with the Air Force and also ferrying political bigwigs during elections

At 55 years of age, Praful Mishra was a highly accomplished pilot who had spent most of his career flying with the Air Force and also ferrying political bigwigs during elections.

After he retired as Captain, he started flying for Aman Aviation. As his friends, colleagues and son Manish Mishra gathered in the hospital, they were still in disbelief over his tragic death. “Look at the number of people gathered here. He was like family to all of us. Praful had celebrated his birthday just days ago, on December 5 and recently also celebrated his 25th anniversary. What has happened is unfortunate,” said Naresh Balani, Praful’s neighbour and secretary of his residential society in Powai.

One of Praful’s old friends, who is the managing director of MAB Aviation, Mandar Bharde, said “He was a fantastic pilot and an even better friend. We flew together for years. As far as I know, even the company managing the helicopters was a good one. I don’t know what went wrong.” Yet another neighbour told this reporter, “We cannot trust the helicopter’s quality. It is being said that the crash was caused by a technical error, but we hope the investigation is done properly.”

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