City-based paraglider dies in flight in Bulgaria

A 45-year-old paraglider from Pune,Dilip Kotecha,who had gone to Sopot in Bulgaria as a member of the Indian squad for the Pre-World Paragliding Championship,died during a flight on Sunday afternoon.

Written by SushantKulkarni | Published: July 17, 2012 1:04 am

A 45-year-old paraglider from Pune,Dilip Kotecha,who had gone to Sopot in Bulgaria as a member of the Indian squad for the Pre-World Paragliding Championship,died during a flight on Sunday afternoon. His family said his body will be brought to Pune on Tuesday.

Kotecha,a real estate consultant,had been flying since 1995 and won medals at many national and international para-gliding events,his friends said. He had gone to Bulgaria with two others,Vijay Soni and Gurpreet Dhindsa.

An official communication on the web page of the Pre-World Paragliding Championship said,“At 2:31 pm (5.01 pm in India),Indian pilot Dilip Kotecha fell down at the upper part of Ravnets massif,north of Karlovo and Vasil Levski. Later,he died from internal bleeding and injuries.”

The communication further stated that three pilots landed next to him five to 10 minutes later and promptly reported the condition of Dilip. The mountain rescue helicopter was called,which arrived in an hour and 40 minutes,the communication stated. The pilots continued cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until the rescue helicopter arrived,however,he had stopped breathing by then,the website stated.

Kotecha’s cousin,Dr Shreyansh Kapale said,“We got to know about the incident from Dilip’s brother,Jayesh who is in the US. Jayesh was informed about the incident by Soni. We have been told that the body was first taken to a hospital for autopsy on Monday afternoon and was to be handed over to team members after the formalities. We expect the body to come here by Tuesday night.”

Eric Menezes,Kotecha’s friend and paragliding trainer said,“I have a lost a close friends who was an ace paraglider. He was a disciplined pilot and had had a rigorous training in emergency exercises in paragliding. He has been participating in world championships for the past 10 years and flown at least five times on the track in Bulgaria.” In 2009,Kotecha had scaled the 60-km track between Panchgani to Khadakwasla,crossing four forts.

Manoj Roy,secretary general of Paragliding Association of India said,“An experienced paragliding pilot,Dilip was part of the Indian team that won the bronze medal at the recent Asian Paragliding Championship in China. His death is a great loss to the paragliding community in India.”

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