'Hero' Chapecoense pilot lost father in a plane crash too
The pilot who 'dumped plane fuel' seconds before crashing in Colombia, killing 76 people, lost his father in a plane crash when he was just one year old.
Miquel, or 'Micky', Quiroga, 54, was flying the CP 2933 plane carrying Brazilian football team Chapecoense when it crashed yesterday.
It was reported that the pilot dumped fuel moments before the incident, to stop the plane from exploding on impact.
He was revealed to be the son of another pilot who died in a crash in 1963, aged 53.
Orlando Quiroga was at the controls of a plane when it downed, leaving behind Micky, who revealed his dad was his inspiration.
He said in an interview: "We have grown between aircraft.
"My older brother, Edgar, is a pilot, flies for Amaszonas. I'm a pilot, my nephew is a pilot, my son, too - we are a family of pilots.
"Why? I imagine there are things that are genetic, which transmit you a taste for flying and the other is the example, you see a kind of life that you like and why you want it for you."
His cousin Milena told how Micky had always wanted to follow his father's career despite his accident, reports the Mail Online.
She said: "His father suffered an accident when Miguel was still a baby, but he always wanted to follow this career.
"He went in to the air force so he could become a pilot, and become a commercial pilot, so he could have better quality of life."
Another cousin, Kris Quiroga, posted a poignant Facebook message about her relative returning to be with his father.
She wrote: "Today you went to be with your father, Uncle Eduardo and your brother, who must be very proud of you and who are welcoming you with open arms.
"Here we will miss you and will keep the memories of all the moments that we spent together, and the certainty that you did everything possible to save everyone who was on that plane."
Had the CP 2933 plane exploded, then it is likely all onboard would have been killed.
Five people survived, but Micky was killed.
Pictures show the pilot in the cabin of the plane with some of the footballers shortly before take-off.
Also onboard the plane was Paraguayan pilot Gustavo Encina, who was part of the crew.
The wife of Mr Encina has said she has been told by the company her husband was on the plane.
The plane, which was travelling to Medellin airport, fell from the sky after suffering electrical problems.
Authorities have confirmed 76 people have been killed.
The jet split in two when it crashed in mountains at around 10pm local time (3am UK time), shortly before it was due to land.
Haunting footage shows football players and other passengers inside the doomed jet moments before it crashed in Colombia leaving dozens feared dead.
Two players for the Brazilian side Chapecoense can be seen smiling for the Instagram selfie video.
Defender Alan Ruschel and goalkeeper Danilo Padilha look happy and relaxed as they proudly announce they will soon be in Colombia.
Ruschel says: "In not long, we'll be arriving in Colombia. We're coming Colombia."
Other passengers can be seen behind relaxing and sleeping.
But just moments after this footage was taken, the pilot is reported to have opened a fuel door to release fuel and prevent a huge explosion in the seconds after the crash.
There were 72 passengers and nine crew on board the charter plane, which was taking the 22-man squad to their match against Atletico Nacional.
Mayor of Medellin Federico Gutierrez said earlier: "This is a tragedy. We have pictures of the plane, which broke in two.
"We thank God the plane did not fall in an urban area because it could have been an even greater tragedy."
Defender Alan Ruschel and goalkeepers Danilo Padilha and Jakson Follmann are reported to be three of the survivors taken to hospital.
Padilha later died in hospital.
Ruschel - who suffered a broken hip and head injuries - was heard asking medics to look after his wedding ring as he arrived at hospital.
A video shared on Twitter claimed to show the moment the plane disappeared from view on flight radar at around 10.15pm local time.
The pilot declared an emergency around 10pm local time citing electrical failure.
The team are believed to have had to change their flight and board the plane that crashed after Brazilian aviation authorities prevented them from taking a charter flight to Medellin.
The jet came down in Cerro Gordo in the municipality of La Union, according to Mi Oriente.
Colombia has been hit by heavy storms which hampered rescue efforts.
"The site of the accident is only accessible by land due to climatic conditions and low visibility," a statement from the airport said."
The Colombian Air Force deployed a search and rescue helicopter which had to cancel the mission due to the adverse conditions.
Chapecoense had reached the finals of the Copa Sudamericana by beating Argentina's San Lorenzo over two legs in the semi-finals, which concluded last week.
Earlier in the day, the Chapocoense football team's official Facebook page posted a video of the players waiting to board the flight at Viru Viru International Airport in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
The team, from the city of Chapeco, were promoted to Brazil's first division in 2014 and reached the final of South America's second most important club competition last week after a victory against Argentina's San Lorenzo.
2014 was the first time the club had competed in Brazil's top division since the 1970s.
In a statement on its website the club said it was still unsure how many of its players and staff had survived.
A spokesman said: "Given the conflicting reports emerging from different journalistic sources concerning the crash of the plane carrying the Chapecoense players, the Chapecoense football association through it vice-president, Ivan Tozzo, is refraining from comment and awaiting official announcements from the Colombian air authorities.
"May God be with our athletes, leaders, journalists and the other guests who are with the delegation."
Clubs from across the world tweeted their condolences to Chapecoense.
Spanish side Sevilla said: Sevilla FC shows is shows its condolences for the plane crash involving Chapecoense. Hard times for football."