A life above the clouds has always been what Gevnesh Prasad dreamed of, but on Saturday he died a few weeks before realizing his dream job.
The 24-year-old was found dead near the Auckland Viaduct over the weekend, his family receiving police news on Saturday morning. A week later, they are still in the dark about how their beloved family member died.
Prasad's death comes weeks after Auckland's flying community was rocked by the deaths of two pilots from the Ardmore Flying School, Zakir Ali Parkar and Pete Callagher, who died when their plane crashed into the Kaimanawa range last month.
Prasad should start working with Fiji Airways in July, months after graduating from the Massey University Aviation School.
His older brother, Jay Prasad, told Herald the family – Jay, his sister and his parents – were devastated – particularly because Gevnesh would never fulfill his dream of being a pilot.
"When we were kids, we were going to Auckland airport, where there is an observation area and we see the planes take off and land," said Jay.
"We sat there for hours, he was fascinated by it, he always wanted to become a pilot.
"He was eager to start his career that he was truly passionate and worked so hard for so well."
Prasad's funeral will be held in Wiri tomorrow.
The death was sent to the coroner.
A Justice Ministry spokesman said that coronal investigations should be carried out if a deceased person appears to have died from unexplained, violent or suspicious circumstances.
O Herald He sought the police commentary on Prasad's death, but they are unable to comment on the matter until tomorrow.
Jay said that his younger brother would be remembered as a good-hearted, selfless young man.
"I think he found flying in the air to be very serene and it was his way of finding peace and getting away from it all.
"He touched many lives, people really respected him. I'm sure they would be proud of where he came from and proud of his achievements.
"He will always be remembered as someone we strive to be – the qualities he had."
Aviation New Zealand Chief Executive John Nicholson conveyed sympathy to Prasad's family, friends and colleagues.
"We extend our deepest condolences and affection to the Prasad family, their friends and to Gevnesh's colleagues, all of whom are affected by this tragic loss."