A life above the clouds was always what Gevnesh Prasad dreamed about, but on Saturday he died a few weeks short of realising his dream job.
The 24-year-old was found dead near the Auckland Viaduct over the weekend, his family receiving the news from police on Saturday morning. A week on they are still in the dark about how their beloved family member died.
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.
Prasad was due to start work with Fiji Airways in July, months after graduating from Massey University's School of Aviation.
His older brother Jay Prasad told the Herald the family - Jay, his sister and their parents - were devastated - particularly because Gevnesh would never fulfil his lifelong dream of being a pilot.
"When we were kids we'd just go down to the Auckland Airport where there's a viewing area and watch the planes take off and land," Jay said.
"We'd sit there for hours, he was fascinated by it, he always wanted to become a pilot.
"He was looking forward to starting his career that he was truly passionate about and worked so hard for as well."
Prasad's funeral will take place in Wiri tomorrow.
The death has been referred to the coroner.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said coronial inquiries had to be held if a deceased person appeared to have died from unexplained, violent or suspicious circumstances.
The Herald has sought comment from police on Prasad's death.
Jay said his younger brother would be remembered as a kind-hearted and selfless young man.
"I think he found flying up in the air to be very serene and it was his way of finding peace and getting away from everything.
"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.
"He will always be remembered as someone we'd endeavour to be - the qualities he had."
Aviation New Zealand chief executive John Nicholson passed on sympathies to Prasad's family, friends and colleagues.
"We extend our deepest sympathies and affection to the Prasad family, their friends and to Gevnesh's colleagues, all of whom are affected by this tragic loss."
Anyone who wishes to make a donation to help the family with funeral costs is asked to visit this address.