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Between tales of wartime flying, course mates of Air Force’s sole Param Vir Chakra recipient go down memory lane

Press Reporter News Service
Chandigarh, March 2

Between tales of wartime flying and unforgettable private anecdotes, members of the Indian Air Pressure’s 97th pilots course and 36th navigators course took a boisterous journey down the reminiscence lane as they acquired collectively for a three-day reunion on Tuesday right here.

On the outset, tributes have been paid to Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, the IAF’s sole recipient of Param Vir Chakra, the nation’s highest award for gallantry, who belonged to this course.

He was serving with No.18 Squadron and had taken on 4 intruding Pakistani Sabre jets over Srinagar within the 1971 conflict.

Group Capt Balraj Rathee, who was current on the airfield on the day the air duel had taken place, recalled the sequence of occasions, and Sekhon’s motion in taking pictures down two Sabres earlier than his plane acquired hit.

Air Vice Marshal JS Grewal, a former Commanding Officer of No.102 Squadron, the one unit to have operated the trisonic Mig-25 Foxbat excessive altitude reconnaissance plane reminiscenced the surreal expertise of flying on the sting of the environment at heights of over 90,000 and a median cruising pace of Mach 2.5.

The plane had undertaken many secret and strategically important missions throughout its service with the IAF from 1981 to 2006.

A navigator with the Canberra bomber in the course of the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict, Gp Capt PS Cheema had the chance of flying missions each on the jap in addition to the western entrance, finishing up bombing raids deep into enemy territory.

On the age of 75, Wg Cdr Kamal Nath continues to be an lively flier and has a report logging 29,000 flying hours, each with the IAF and later in civil aviation.

An authorized examiner, he’s joyful that he’ll proceed to stay within the cockpit for some extra time. Beginning off with the propeller engine DC-3, he moved on to fly the IL-76 strategic freighter, then the most important plane within the IAF’s stock.

Indian Air Pressure’s 97th pilots course and 36th navigators acquired collectively for a three-day reunion. — Press Reporter Picture

Squadron Chief GS Jawandha mentioned that the course had handed out in June 1967, with 168 pilots and 27 navigators together with three overseas officers, two from Yemen and one from Nigeria. Two course members made it to the very best stage of the IAF, changing into Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief.

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