Tuesday, December 08, 2020

‘Invisible Sky’: Film Documenting Indian American Father’s Fight to Make Flying Safer to Release on Apple TV, Amazon Prime

 Among the myriad documentaries available on streaming platforms, some have the potential to not only inform but also shape public opinion on specific issues – and sometimes that is necessary. One such film coming to Apple TV, Amazon Prime and InDemand services is “Invisible Sky,” executive produced by Indian American businessman Yatish Joshi.

For over than a decade, Joshi, of South Bend, Indiana, has been on a mission that matters. On April 20, 2006, a Cessna 206 piloted by his 24-year-old daughter, Georgina Joshi, tragically crashed while on final approach to Bloomington/Monroe County Airport in Indiana. The accident claimed the lives of Georgina – a student at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, a promising opera singer and licensed pilot – and four of her fellow students.

The National Transportation Safety Board, the government agency tasked with investigating all aviation accidents, investigated the accident and found that Georgina was the sole probable cause of the accident, blaming “pilot error.”

Georgina’s flight instructor, Ronald R. Burns, says in the film directed by Todd Boruff: “I’ve taught a lot of people to fly in my days, and she was one of the very best…”

No wonder then that Georgina’s family was not at all convinced with the findings so they hired investigators to further look into the details of the accident.

The feature-length documentary tracks the investigation into the tragic crash and the resulting legal battle with the National Transportation Safety Board that went all the way to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

With “Invisible Sky,” Joshi, a former candidate for Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District, not only seeks to highlight the details that he believes the NTSB missed but also hopes that with some action, tragedies such as these can be averted in the future.

“After we exhausted the legal options to address the shortcomings of the NTSB, we thought maybe a documentary could help us get the word out to the public,” Joshi told India-West. “This would help us create a groundswell of opinion so that the issues confronting general aviation could be addressed via legislation, or at least people would be aware of the NTSB’s shortcomings when it comes to general aviation investigations. To claim 86 percent of accidents are pilot error just can’t be valid. And if that incredibly high percentage was true, then we need to do something to address the problem – better training, more stringent testing, etc. We hoped that the documentary could be a vehicle to educate people on this situation.”

The film will be available on Apple TV, Amazon and InDemand cable providers Dec. 8.

08/12/20 Reena Rathore/IndiaWest

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