Squadron Leader Deepak Balachandra Ajgaonkar, Parachute Jumping Instructor, has been posted to Aerial Delivery Research & Development Establishment, Agra as a Free Fall Qualified Parachute Jump Instructor with effect from 9 Jan 85. He has to his credit a total of 841 parachute descents inclusive of 285 free falls.
In Apr 85, he was assigned the task of completing an onĂ‚Âgoing Research and Development project in which Aircrew Parachute Chest Type was to be modified for fitment of an automatic opening device and also to carry out a first ever live trial of an emergency Aircrew Chest Type Parachute. He pursued the aim with extreme dedication and ingenuity. He was instrumental in redesigning the harness to incorporate a back type reserve and also in designing a jettisonable helmet mounted face guard for carrying out the liver trial for this very purpose.
On 29 Apr 86, he successfully carried out the first ever live trial of a chest type aircrew emergency parachute. This trial was the first in the world as per the literature available with the R&D organization. Due to the inherent risk involved, live trials of emergency parachutes are not recommended to be carried out anywhere in the world. Air Headquarters desired that at least one live trial jump should be conducted to instill confidence amongst future potential users, such as different types of aircrew of various types of transport aircraft. Sqn Ldr DB Ajgaonkar volunteered to undertake this pioneering feat which could have caused grave danger to his life.
For this first ever successful courageous attempt, dedication to duty and fruitful utilization of professional skill, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Squadron Leader Deepak Balachandra Ajgaonkar.