Mumbai: Mariya Zuberi, the Muslim pilot who lost life in the chartered plane crash on Thursday is being hailed as "braveheart" for saving the lives of many people by preventing the plane from crashing into a nearby school and on residential buildings.
Five people, including a pedestrian, were killed and two others were injured after the ill-fated aircraft developed a mechanical snag and crashed into a construction site near Old Malik Estate near Jeev Saya Lane Telephone Exchange in Ghatkopa area of Mumbai Thursday afternoon.
However it was Mariya who exhibited exemplary dedication to profession and presence of mind to steer the plane out of dense residential areas of Ghatkopar before it crashed near the construction site, thus saving many more lives.
Eyewitnesses said the plane was seen hurtling down in the narrow Jeevdaya Lane which is dominated by the Gujarati speaking residents. It crashed with a deafening roar before breaking into pieces and bursting into flames around 1.15 pm Thursday.
Mariya was born in Rani Mandi, Allahabad. Her father, Iqbal Hasan is a doctor by profession. Her mother, Fareeda wanted Maria to become a doctor. However, Mariya wanted to become a pilot. After her studies from Allahabad Central University, Maria completed the pilot training from Rae Bareli Indira Gandhi Flying Academy. She had shifted to Mumbai after marriage with lawyer Prabhast Kathuria.
Mariya Zuberi, who flew UY Aviation's charter aircraft, had 900 hours of flying experience and was a former pilot with Jet Airways. Prior to that, Mariya worked with an aviation engineering company in 2005 as First Officer. Apart from flying the King Air C-90 Mariya had flown Falcon 2000 and TB-20.
According to reports, Mariya Zuberi's husband Prabhast Kathuria said his wife had warned that the inclement weather was not suited for the test flight, but ignoring her advice, the flight was undertaken. Kathuria has demanded a thorough probe into the matter.
Maria Zuberi's 15-year-old daughter had recently won gold medal in a quiz competition. In order to celebrate her daughter’s achievement, Maria had decided to give a party to the relatives but her dreams remained unfulfilled.
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