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India Mumbai Bids Farewell (Captain Habinder Singh Ahluwalia, Flight IX-812)


1947-2014 (Archived)

Mumbai Bids Farewell (Captain Habinder Singh Ahluwalia, Flight IX-812)

Mumbai bids farewell- Hindustan Times

A wooden casket carrying the body of Captain Habinder Singh Ahluwalia, co-pilot of flight IX-812 that crashed at Mangalore airport on Saturday, arrived at his residence in Andheri (East), a suburb of Mumbai, on Sunday.

Besides relatives and friends, the entire neighbourhood, which has a significant Sikh population, gathered to support the bereaved family.

Ahluwalia (42), a bachelor and youngest among brothers, was popular in Andheri's Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar where he had spent most of his life.

"He was very attached to his mother. Ten days ago when he visited her he had expressed his desire to get married," said Narendra Singh, a family friend and neighbour.

"This had thrilled his mother, who could not stop talking about it."
His mother, Kulwant Kaur, was speechless with grief on Sunday.

Ahluwalia's body will be taken to the gurudwara before cremation at the Parsiwada crematorium.

In Dombivli, a suburb in Kalyan, some 25 km north of Mumbai, neighbours and friends of Tejal Kamulkar (24) gathered at her home to mourn the airhostess' death.

Kamulkar's father identified her charred body from the gold chain stuck on it.

She was cremated late on Sunday evening.

The flight had two pilots and four cabin crew on board. None survived the crash.

By Sunday, the bodies of only three of the six AI staffers — including flight captain Z Glusica — had been identified.


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1947-2014 (Archived)
Further coverage

Mangalore crash: Captain Habinder Singh Ahluwalia was a perfectionist

Mangalore crash: Captain Habinder Singh Ahluwalia was a perfectionist - dnaindia.com

A resident of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Society, JB Nagar in Andheri east, Ahluwalia had aspired to become a pilot right from his childhood. “He always wanted to experience how it feels to fly,” said an emotional Shah who visited the Ahluwalia residence as soon as the news of the crash broke.

Ahluwalia’s two elder brothers manage their family business of manufacturing silencers for vehicles. They have a factory in Gujarat. The youngest of the four siblings, Ahluwalia decided to branch out and become a pilot.

Ahluwalia was in Mumbai two months ago when he met all his childhood friends to celebrate their guru’s birthday. After that he was based in Mangalore.

“He was a perfectionist. He was a responsible person too. Every time he had to fly, he would ensure that he got enough rest as he was responsible for the safety of so many people in the plane,” said another friend, adding that there was no room for error in any job done by him.

Born in 1969, Ahluwalia did his schooling from the Holy Family School in Andheri. He went to NM College, where he did his MCom. After finishing college, he joined the Juhu Flying Club.

“He had scored 95 per cent in the Air India entrance exam, which is said to be the highest score ever,” said a friend, who remembers Ahluwalia as a caring, down-to-earth person and the most eligible bachelor in their locality.

“His mother was looking for a bride for him but he liked his tension-free and simple bachelor life,” said a neighbour.

Before joining Air India in 2009, Ahluwalia had worked with the Jet Airways. “He had been flying for over 15 years and he absolutely loved his job,” added his friend.


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