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Co-pilot in Air India crash Akhilesh Kumar leaves behind pregnant wife

On May 8, 2020, pilot Akhilesh Kumar was welcomed to Karipur Airport in Kozhikode with loud applause – a hero’s welcome. He was part of an Air India Express plane crew which was the first repatriation flight under the Vande Bharat Mission to land in Kozhikode, bringing back several stranded Indians in Dubai. Three months later, on August 7, when an Air India Express flight that Akhilesh co-piloted touched down in Kozhikode, India mourned for him.

Akhilesh was the co-pilot of the ill-fated Air India Express 1344 flight, which overshot the tabletop runway of the Calicut International Airport, plunged 30 feet below and crashed, splitting the aircraft into two. The 32-year-old pilot is among the 18 passengers who died in the crash on Friday.

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