Captain Maria Zuberi was at the controls along with Captain PS Rajput, the pilot, with an engineer, identified as Surbhi, and a technician, identified as Manish, onboard when the chartered plane crashed.
When mid-day reached Zuberi's home in Mira Road, there was no one at home and the area wore a sombre look. Ivy Sarkar, a neighbour, said, "I can't believe she is no more. She was a wonderful woman, always ready with a helping hand. She had thrown a party at her home recently after her 17-year-old daughter cleared her HSC exams with excellent marks. "I am incredibly proud of her for using her presence of mind and manoeuvering the plane away from residential buildings, saving so many lives. I salute her."
Zuberi stayed with her husband Prabhat Kasturia and daughter Charvi. Kasturia had messaged her around 1 pm for her whereabouts, but got no reply. Then he saw the crash on TV. He told the media, "My wife, along with Rajput, had earlier informed the company that the weather was not right for flying. The company insisted on the test flight."
The domestic help who worked at Zuberi's home, Aarti Waghmare, said, "I have been working there for three months now. Her husband is an advocate, who is in Delhi most of the time. She always addressed and spoke to me like a friend, never made me feel like a servant. I am unable to come to terms with the fact that she is no more. I keep thinking she will be back home in some time."
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)