Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Pilot dies in ocean crash, with dream of following his dad into flight

Boynton Beach: He was a computer engineer, but the urge to fly like his father — a retired pilot for the Indian Navy who turned commercial pilot — was so strong. A year ago, Abhishek Patter left his job and home in India and went to Florida for flight school.

Just few days ago, the 24-year-old Patter was awarded his instrument rating at 2Fly Airborne school on Merritt Island in Brevard County, Florida’s Space Coast. Someone captured Patter’s wide grin on camera.

The pilot was flying a single-engine Piper PA-28 Sunday when it vanished about 8 p.m. while flying from Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana to Merritt Island Airport, according to a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Patter was the pilot who died, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Monday.

The plane had been airborne about three minutes when it crashed in the ocean, according to FlightAware, an online flight tracker. Someone called for help after seeing the plane sinking at sea, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

“He spent his last moments in the cockpit doing what he always wanted to do — fly,” Pat Bhava, a family friend, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Monday.

Crews in a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office helicopter spotted the mostly intact plane submerged 40 feet in the water at daybreak Monday. Hours later, divers pulled Patter’s body from the cockpit. Bhava said now the family is trying to get their son’s body home back in India.

According to FlightAware, the plane flew from Merritt Island to LaBelle, a city situated about 30 miles east of Fort Myers on Sunday.

The plane’s next stop was Lantana. Just before 8 p.m. Patter took off for a solo night training mission and was headed home to Merritt Island, said Bhava.

But just minutes into the flight, something went terribly wrong when the Piper plane went down.

Bhava, who said he served in the military with Patter’s father, said the pilot’s father phoned him from India on Sunday night, hoping he could help provide information after getting a call that his son’s plane went down.

Divers from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office pulled the body from the cockpit at 11 a.m, the Sheriff’s Office said.

A witness saw the plane go down in the water Sunday night.

25/01/21 Eileen Kelley and Austen Erblat/South Florida Sun  Sentinel

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment