On 24 May, a chartered air ambulance belonging to Alchemist Airways, made an emergency crash landing in the Najafgarh area of South West Delhi, with seven people on board. It could have culminated into a tragic accident, had it not been for pilot Amit Kumar's presence of mind; the seven on board escaped unscathed with minor injuries.
The Beechcraft King Air C-90 A was en route to the IGI Airport from Patna, when the air traffic control at the IGI airport was notified that both the engines of the aircraft had failed, about 6.0 nautical miles away from the airport.
Pilot Amit Kumar had two options: He could either attempt to proceed to the airport, and crash the aircraft in the process, or crash land at a relatively safer spot.
He decided to go with the latter, all within 15 seconds. With no broad road in sight, he crash-landed the flight in a secluded field.
"We had a patient flying along. There was a young woman and four others. When we touched down, the front wheel hit the fields after which the plane banged into a three-foot-high road and leapt again in the air. It landed back about 50 metres ahead and skidded for over 100 metres before coming to a halt," Kumar was quoted as saying in a Times of India report.
Pilot Amit Kumar wasn't the only braveheart on board the fated flight that afternoon. Of the seven who were on the air ambulance, there was 23-year-old Juhi Roy, and her father who was being transported to a hospital in Delhi to be treated for a brain haemorrhage. Mr Roy lay unconscious on his stretcher, as the plane crash-landed into the field.
As the air ambulance crash-landed into the secluded field at Najafgarh, it was feared that the impact would cause the aircraft to blow up. With over 400 litres of fuel in it, the aircraft was nothing short of a ticking bomb. The pilot rushed everyone out of the aircraft, asking them to make a run for it, and ensured that everyone was taken to safety.
With her father lying unconscious on a stretcher, Juhi Roy held her cool, and with the help of the pilot brought her father to safety, placing him under a tree at a safe distance from the aircraft.
Despite repeated warnings of an impending explosion, Roy rushed back to the aircraft to retrieve the oxygen cylinder that was essential to keep her father alive. She went back to the aircraft once again, this time, to bring back her father's belongings and his medical files.
She then proceeded to notify the police of their location, speeding up the rescue proceedings.
On 24 May, two heroes emerged from what might have been a tragedy of enormous proportions. While Mr Roy is still battling for his life at a hospital in Delhi, it was quick thinking, and the presence of mind of both Amit Kumar and Juhi Roy that saved the day.