Sqn Ldr Devender Jeet Singh Kler (11855) Flying (Pilot) has been on the posted strength of a fighter Squadron since Apr 80.
On 20 Jun 87, he was authorized to carry out a live Rocket Projectile sortie on Ajeet over Dudhkundi range. After an uneventful sortie, while coming into landing, he observed that the throttle could not be reduced as the throttle lever had become free. He operated the throttle lever to obtain some response from the engine but in the process, the RPM rose to 100% and thereafter remanded at this rating despite repeated movements of the throttle lever resulting in loss of control on speed of aircraft. Faced with this critical emergency and with very little endurance left, Sqn Ldr Kler was felt with only two options either to eject or recover the aircraft with a dead stick landing. Judging the situation correctly and having full faith in his professional skill built assiduously by practicing various emergencies over the years, he decided to opt for a dead stick landing even though, slight error in its execution entailed a grave risk to his life.
Sqn Ldr DJS Kler handled this critical emergency in an exemplary manner. Ajeet aircraft is known for its difficult handling characteristics and has resulted in accidents, many of them fatal, under such trying conditions. He displayed great professional skill, fine judgment and airmanship of the highest order. His devotion to duty is in the finest traditions of our service where in he saved a valuable combat aircraft even though this entailed grave risk to his won life.
For his professional skill, fine judgment, airmanship of a high order and efficient handling of a grave emergency, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Sqn Ldr Devender Jeet Singh Kler.