Brother remembers harrowing news of pilot's death

Gevnesh Prasad was a beloved son, brother and friend. Photo: Supplied
Gevnesh Prasad was a beloved son, brother and friend. Photo: Supplied
The family of Gevnesh Prasad were told not to wait for him and to eat their dinner, setting some aside for when he got home.

Sadly, the young pilot never arrived.

In March, Prasad gained his wings and accomplished a lifelong dream to become a commerical pilot. He was set to start a new career in July.

On Friday last week, he received a call from his mother, asking him if he'd be home for dinner. He told them he would, but it wouldn't be until later in the night.

"When he didn't come home, my parents were pretty worried," Prasad's older brother Jay told the New Zealand Herald.

"They tried calling him multiple times. They called the police but they didn't really do anything and said he was a grown man and you have to wait 24 hours.

"A couple of hours later they got a knock on the door saying he passed away."

A week later, and the family of Prasad, 24, are still in the dark about how their beloved family member was found dead near the Auckland Viaduct over the weekend.

Jay didn't believe his father when he was first told of his brother's death. He remembers driving over to the family house in Remuera thinking it was a joke.

"I drove over fully expecting to find out it wasn't real. But when I got there two police officers confirmed that he was dead," he said.

"My parents weren't strong enough to go and identify his body so I went to the morgue and it took me at least five minutes to pull back the curtain and see my younger brother just lying there dead.

"I was in shock ... it was awful."

Prasad's death comes weeks after the Auckland flying community was rocked by the deaths of two Ardmore Flying School pilots, Zakir Ali Parkar and Pete Callagher, who died when their aircraft crashed in the Kaimanawa Ranges last month.

He was due to start work with Fiji Airways in July after graduating from Massey University's School of Aviation, kicking off his career flying twin otter aircrafts for the company.

As children, Prasad and Jay would be taken out to the Auckland Airport lookout by their father just to watch planes take off and land.

"We'd sit there for hours. He was fascinated by it, he always wanted to become a pilot," Jay said.

"He was looking forward to starting his career that he was truly passionate about and worked so hard for as well."

Hundreds of people are expected to be at Prasad's funeral in Wiri today.

Jay said his brother would be remembered as a kind-hearted and selfless young man who touched many people with his unique outlook on life.

"He touched so many lives, people really respected him. I'm sure they'd be proud of where he got to and proud of his achievements," Jay said.

"He will always be remembered as someone we'd endeavour to be - the qualities he had."

Police this morning confirmed a man's body was found in central Auckland, near the Viaduct, about 1.30pm on April 13. They said the man's death "is not being treated as suspicious and there is nothing to suggest the involvement of anyone else at this time".

"The death is being investigated by police but will be referred to the coroner."

Need help?

Need to talk? 1737, free 24/7 phone and text number

Healthline: 0800 611-116

Lifeline Aotearoa: 0800 543-354

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828-865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Samaritans: 0800 726-666

Alcohol Drug Helpline: 0800 787-797

General mental health inquiries: 0800 443-366

The Depression Helpline: 0800 111-757

Youthline: 0800 376-633, txt 234 or

What’s Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1pm-11pm): 0800 942-8787

Add a Comment