New Delhi, October 30, 2018: A Delhi boy, Bhavye Suneja, was captain of the ill-fated Indonesian carrier Lion Air’s Boeing 737 Max + that crashed into the sea while operating a domestic flight from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang on Monday with 189 people on board.
Indonesia’s search and rescue agency confirmed the crash of Lion Air flight, JT610, adding that it lost contact with ground officials 13 minutes after takeoff, and a tug boat leaving the capital’s port saw it fall according to the reports published in aviationindia.net.
Suneja, a resident of Mayur Vihar who passed out of the locality’s Ahlcon Public School in 2005, joined Indonesian Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Lion Air in March 2011 where he flies the Boeing 737. The VP of a leading airline in India that operates the Boeing 737 said Suneja, 31, was considering returning to India.
“We spoke this July. He is a very sweet sounding person. Being an experienced pilot of the B737 with an incident, accident free record, we were keen to have him with us because of his good credentials. His only request was that he wanted a Delhi posting as he is from the city,” said the senior official.
“Since most of the pilots are from north India and they want Delhi posting, I told him that once he flies with us for a year we will consider his posting in Delhi. He wanted our assistance in getting an Indian ATPL (commander’s licence). Some other pilots from Lion Air have also joined us recently,” said the official.
“We all hope and pray that Suneja and all others on the plane survive. We are all praying right now,” the senior official of the Indian carrier said.
According to his Linkedin profile, Suneja, 31, got his pilot licence from Bel Air International in 2009. After that, he joined Emirates as a trainee pilot in September 2010 and remained there for four months.
In March 2011, he joined Indonesian low-cost airline Lion Air that is based in Jakarta.
Suneja’s Facebook page shows him a happy family man. An October 2016 picture shows his Captain’s hat and epaulettes with four stripes. Presumably, this is when he graduated to a captain from the first officer.
According to Lion Air, Suneja has 6,000 flight hours of experience and the co-pilot has 5,000 flight hours.