DEEP DIVE: Air Traffic Control Audio Gives Sneak Peek into Santee’s Plane Crash


Flight instructor says Dr Das may have been disoriented – Cody Lee reports from News 11

YUMA, Arizona (KYMA, KECY) – We learn more about the history of Dr. Sugata Das as a pilot. He often traveled to many destinations on his private jet. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued its commercial pilot license in October 2014.

According to the News 11 audio obtained between Dr. Das and an air traffic controller at Montgomery Field in San Diego, the medic was flying dangerously low and not staying on course.

“Looks like you’re straying from your course. Are you correcting? The air traffic controller asked.

New air traffic control (ATC) audio details the minutes before a plane piloted by Yuma’s cardiologist, Dr Sugata Das, crashes in Santee, California.

RELATED: Continuous Coverage: YRMC Mourns Dr Sugata Das

“Low altitude alert. Get on immediately. Get on the plane.”

The controller asked Das to increase his altitude but for some reason he was unable to comply.

“Hold 5,000. Speed ​​up the climb. Please get on the plane ”, over

We spoke to Robert Katz, a certified flight instructor, who, after listening to the audio, believes the doctor might have been disoriented due to the overcast skies.

“He was not following instructions issued by the controller, whose job it is to keep everyone on the move and everyone separate at the same time,” Katz said.

In the audio, Dr Das was cleared to land, but did not lead the air traffic controller to bypass him to realign with the runway.

RELATED: NTSB Arrives at Santee Plane Crash Scene

Katz says a pilot is required to have six hours of landing approaches and holding maneuvers, within six months.

“It is up to the police pilot himself to comply with their regulations.”

Officials at Yuma International Airport said neither the FAA nor the NTSB contacted them on Tuesday morning.

The airport adds: “Dr. Das was a big fan of the airport, a great person and a phenomenal aviator. It is a huge loss for all of us. “

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