Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa Flies MiG-21 With Wg Cdr Abhinandan For One Last Time
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa flew with Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, on a MiG-21 sortie for the last time on Monday, September 02. The sortie was one of its kind as it marked the last flight for Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa who will retire at the end of this month, and first flight for Abhinandan after the Balakot incident. Abhinandan was under intense medical tests following his capture by Pakistan. The two officers took off from the Pathankot Airbase in Punjab for a 30-minute sortie.
#WATCH IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa flew a sortie with Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman at Air Force Station Pathankot today in a MiG-21 trainer. It's the last sortie flown by IAF Chief in a fighter aircraft before retirement.They took off around 1130 hrs for a 30 min sortie. pic.twitter.com/retSoI3EVl
— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2019
The Air Chief Marshal took the front seat while Abhinandan took the rear seat in the jet whose controls are provided before the rear seat as well
After the completion of the sortie Dhanoa, who had also accompanied Abhinandan’s father during the Kargil war in 1999, was elated to draw the similarity between him and Abhinandan. “ Both of us have two things in common – first, both of us ejected and second, both of us have fought Pakistanis. I fought in Kargil, he fought after Balakot. And third, I’ve flown with his father. It’s an honour for me to do my last sortie in the IAF, in a fighter aircraft, with his son,” NDTV reported.
Abhinandan became a decorated army officer after his return from Pakistan in February. He flew across the Line Of Control to intercept the intrusion of fighter jets into the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir. He shot down a Pakistani F-16 but had to eject after his MiG-21 suffered damage in the dog-fight. Unfortunately, he landed on the other side of the LoC and was held captive for 60 hours by Pakistan authority. He was later released, a move that deescalated the tension between India and Pakistan, which had come close to the brink of armed conflict in the aftermath of the February 14 Pulwama terror attack.
Later this year, he was awarded the Veer Chakra for showing exemplary courage in the standoff.