Fg Offr Shailender Sood has been on the posted strength of 142 SSS Flight since Dec 88. He holds A 'C' White status with 250 hours on type.
He was detachment commander of a Chetak Helicopter of 142 SSS Flight at 5 Wing. On 11 Nov 88 at 2020 hrs, he was called upon to rescue a pilot who had ejected from a Hunter aircraft. He acted with methodical proficiency and getting airborne within a commendable time of 40 minutes. He was guided by Air Traffic Control to the last known position of the crashed aircraft. Though it was moonlit night, the visibility started to deteriorate. Unmindful he pressed on and spotted a cartridge fired by the ejected pilot. He carried out a reconnaissance of the area and promptly landed with precision. Thereafter he returned to the base with the injured pilot. Fg Offr Sood, in this act of singular valour, achieved the very first night pick up of any ejected aircrew in a Chetak helicopter.
For displaying extremely high sense of duty, ability to take and execute a professionally calculated decision and bravery of a very high order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Seva Medal to Fg Off Shalinder Sood.