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Indian Air Force (IAF) chief V.R. Chaudhary met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and gave him a detailed presentation on the CDS chopper crash

Indian Air Force (IAF) chief V.R. Chaudhary met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday and gave him a detailed presentation on the CDS chopper crash inquiry report.

The tragic incident happened on December 8, 2021, when a military helicopter crashed near Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu, costing 14 lives including Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and other military personnel.

Air Chief Marshal Chaudhary went to the official residence of the Defence Minister and made the presentation. A tri-service inquiry was ordered after the crash to probe the reasons of this accident.

It is believed that the MI-17v5 pilot may have been left disoriented by inclement weather and accidentally flown into terrains. This is referred to as CFIT, or Controlled Flight Into Terrain.

Sources said the inquiry ruled out any possibility of technical errors or mechanical defects. The chopper was a Russian made Mi-17V5 helicopter, considered extremely reliable and safe. The crew was led by group captain Varun Singh, a very experienced pilot of Indian Air Force.

The tri-service inquiry was led by Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, known as India's top chopper pilot. He served as the director general of inspection and flight safety before. The tri-services probe report has given its findings on reasons behind the crash & made recommendations for the future chopper operations for flying VIPs.

(IANS/JB)

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Balakot airstrike hero, Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman was honoured with Vir Chakra by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Balakot airstrike hero, Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman was honoured with Vir Chakra by President Ram Nath Kovind in the national capital on Monday for bringing down a Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft during aerial combat on February 27, 2019.

Varthaman was promoted from Wing Commander to the rank of Group Captain earlier this month.

He was honoured with Vir Chakra, India's third-highest war time gallantry medal, by the President in an investiture ceremony.

Varthaman was captured by the Pakistani Army on February 27, 2019 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with the Pakistani jets. Before his jet was hit, he downed a Pakistani F-16 fighter.

The Balakot airstrike was carried out against the terror camps at Balakot of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in response to the deadly Pulwama attack that claimed the lives of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.

It was the first aerial assault carried out by India in Pakistan after the 1971 India-Pakistan war.

On February 26, 2019 around 3.30 a.m. 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and destroyed the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan's Balakot.

The Balakot airstrike demonstrated India's prowess to retaliate to Pakistan's sinister intentions.

Codenamed as 'Operation Bandar', the airstrike was conducted by the seventh and ninth squadrons of the Indian Air Force.

After the strike, over two dozen fighter planes, including F-16s left Pakistani bases aiming to hit the Indian military installations. But the Indian Air force in anticipation of such an attack was ready and aerial dogfight ensued. It ended with Wing Commander Varthaman, shooting down an F-16 fighter plane of Pakistan and getting hit in the process.

Varthaman exited safely but was captured. Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced the capture and India demanded his unconditional and safe return.

Back then, the US played a role in the release of the officer, who safely returned to India. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, IAF, Abhinandan, Vir Chakra, Award


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