Pilot Abid Sultan had resigned

Ashraful Islam | Update:

Abid SultaThe pilot of US-Bangla plane that crashed in Nepal on Monday Abid Sultan had tendered his resignation before his fight, according to his intimate colleagues.

"Abid sent his resignation letter to the US-Bangla authorities through e-mail before his flight to Nepal," one of his colleagues told Prothom Alo.

His colleagues said his resignation was, however, not accepted by the US-Bangla Airlines authorities.

Both Abid Sultan and his co-pilot Prithula Rashid were among 51 out of 67 passengers and 4 crews who died in the plane crash, said officials.

US-Bangla airlines public relations section general manager Kamrul Islam told Prothom Alo that they had no information about the resignation of the pilot. "A pilot can, however, deny operating flights," he added.

Abid Sultan's colleagues said a high official of the US-Bangla airlines resigned two months ago and joined an Ethiopian airline. Being very close to Abid, the official finalised the recruitment of Abid in that airlines.

A number of pilots, who were close to Abid, said it has not been ethically fair on the part of the airlines authorities to ask Abid to operate any flight after his resignation.

About the possible cause of the plane crash, the pilots said a thorough investigation is needed to know the real cause of the accident.

The pilots said the black box, which is not usually damaged in a plane crash, will play a key role to know the cause of the accident. The black box keeps information and records conversations between the pilot and the Air Traffic Control room.

On 6 May 2015, Abid Sultan joined the US-Bangla as a pilot. He was the head of the pilots at US-Bangla for Dash-8 Q400 aircraft. He was also a trainer of this aircraft. Abid joined Bangladesh Air Force in 1984. After 20 years of service, he retired as a flight lieutenant.

Before joining US-Bangla, he worked in various local and foreign airlines companies.

This correspondent visited Abid Sultan's Uttara residence where he lived with his wife and a son. His wife was not willing to talk to the media.

*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.

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