Wing Commander Sudhir Sah (11648) Flying (Pilot) is the Commanding Officer of a helicopter Squadron since 07 Dec 87. On 29 Jun 88, Wg Cdr Sudhir Sah was tasked for casualty evacuation of Mrs. Kirti Bala Elies, a pilgrim of Kailash Mansarovar yatra from Tukhlaket, the Tibet region of China. However, owing to continuous bad weather till 07 Jul 77 several attempts for the evacuation proved futile. The weather showed slight improvement on 08 Jul 88. By then the pilgrims had started their return journey and Wg Cdr Sah was informed that Mrs. Elias, who was carried on a stretcher, would be crossing the Lipulekh pass, at a height of approximately 17000 above sea level, on the Sino-Indian border at about 1130 hours. Wg Cdr Sah took off in a Cheetah with Wg Cdr NK Upadhayay as his co-pilot and reconnoitered the Lipulekh pass area to find a suitable place to land. However, owing to steep gradient and extremely hostile terrain the helicopter could not be landed. Keeping in view the nature of injuries received by Mrs. Elias, Wg Cdr Sudhir Sah displaying exceptional professional skill and perfect crew coronation and understanding brought the helicopter to hover above the ground. He then asked his coĆĀpilot to jump out of the helicopter and help the casualty with the assistance of other pilgrims. Such a task demands thorough competence, skilful handling and above all, courage. Evacuation of Mrs. Kirti Bala Elias is yet another land mark in the history of the Indian Air Force.
For his exemplary courage, selfless devotion to duty and display of exceptional professional skill in the finest traditions of the Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wg Cdr. Sudhir Sah.