On 11 April 2007, Squadron Leader Basu was detailed for an air logistic sortie to Amar helipad located on the Siachen Glacier, as the leader in two aircraft formation. Flying over this vast frozen ice mass entails flying in the extremes of climatic conditions over exceedingly inhospitable terrain.
The sortie was uneventful till final approach. On short finals, an overshoot had to be initiated as tail winds were encountered. The helicopter experienced a sudden loss of power and height after crossing the helipad. Sqn Ldr Basu maintained his cool in the unusual emergency and handled the situation in a competent manner displaying a high degree of professionalism. He asked his copilot to keep a close check on the engine parameters and initially tried to recover the aircraft by reducing the power demand smoothly. The engine jet pipe temperature (JPT) also shot up. Unfortunately, the JPT failed to respond to the emergency actions by the pilot and the aircraft contintued to lose height. He therefore took the highly courageous decision of attempting to force land across the Actual Ground Position Line. However, due to the absence of a suitable force landing field in the harsh, snow bound and sloping terrain, the helicopter crashed having no chance of survival of the crew.
Squadron Leader Shantanu Basu displayed exceptional courage and gallantry in the face of imminent death in dangerous circumstances beyond the call of duty.