Miquel Quiroga was in charge of flying the passenger plane which was carrying 81 people – made up of 72 passengers and nine crew members.
He has been hailed as a hero after reports he dumped fuel seconds before the horror plunge.
This is said to have stopped an explosion which would have killed all onboard.
Rescue teams have saved five people from the jet – including three Chapecoense footballers who are now being treated in hospital.
This photograph shows the pilot with a couple of the players.
It was taken shortly before take-off.
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