Pilot's daughter pens an emotional letter to 'Neerja' makers

Jan 12, 2016, 13:48 IST | The Hitlist Team

Nicole Thomas Fredrick, daughter of a pilot aboard 1986 hijacked flight sends emotional letter to the makers of Sonam Kapoor starrer 'Neerja'

Barely three weeks of the trailer being released, makers of Sonam Kapoor-starrer 'Neerja' have been flooded with scores of mails from abroad. Two hundred-odd survivors of the 1986 hijacked Pan Am flight have expressed gratitude to the makers for coming up with a biopic on their hero, senior flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, who sacrificed her life to save theirs. Bhanot helped 359 of the total 379 people on board the ill-fated aircraft to escape before falling to the terrorists' bullets.

A still from the film and (inset) Neerja Bhanot
A still from the film and (below) Neerja Bhanot

A touching letter penned by Nicole Thomas Fredrick, daughter of one of the pilots, reads: "The film's trailer brings out the intense emotions that were going on at that time. I remember everything that happened in those 48 hours and this stirred up a lot of feelings for me again. My father would only grant interviews as long as it was about the heroism of Neerja."


"Pilots were extensively trained to evacuate the aircraft for negotiating power. In 1986, terrorists didn't know how to fly airplanes, so that was a bargaining tool to buy time. She did a lot to save the lives of Americans (specifically) and I will always remember that. I can't wait to see the film. Hopefully, it will release where I live."

Directed by Ram Madhvani, 'Neerja' revisits the story of courage shown by the 23-year-old Mumbai-based flight attendant who was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra for bravery — the youngest recipient to bag the honour.

Watch 'Neerja' trailer

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