Sqn Ldr K Palit has been on the posted strength of a Jaguar Squadron since.13 May 91. He has been the Flight Commander of this Sqn since Jun 93.
On 13 Dec 93, Sqn Ldr K Palit was authorised to flight test one Jaguar aircraft (ac). While climbing he noticed hydraulic pressure of both systems dropping to zero. A few weeks back, another Jaguar ac on the station had encountered precisely the similar problem and the pilot had to eject because undercarriage could not be lowered to enable the ac to land. Court of Inquiry had been instituted but because of lack of evidence, no answers could be found. Sqn Ldr Palit tried all methods and procedures prescribed in the book, but without achieving any success in lowering the undercarriage. Under such circumstances ejection is mandatory. However, knowing that if he abandoned the ac not only another precious ac would be destroyed but also crucial evidence would be lost, Sqn Ldr Palit, knowing fully well the risk to his own life, very courageously offered to belly land the ac. This was, however, vetoed. Sqn Ldr Palit flew the virtually doomed ac for the next one hour or so trying various methods to lower the undercarriage. Eventually a desperate and nonstandard procedure of shutting off entire DC power supply was suggested from the ground. Sqn Ldr Palit, very courageously, took this action knowing fully well that it entailed the grave risk of failure of ac controls at low level - leaving no margin for a safe ejection. These actions resulted in main wheels of the ac coming down. With barely sufficient fuel for just 3 Ã‚Â 4 minutes of engine running time, he executed an excellent flapless landing.
These courageous actions on part of Sqn Ldr Palit saved a valuable ac which provided conclusive evidence and help resolve the affliction that had led to such occurrence on Jaguar ac.
For this act of exceptional courage the President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Sqn Ldr Kalyan Palit.