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Wing Commander Saurabh Sharma

Service No 23209 Branch F(P)
Date of Birth: -- --- --
Date Commissioned 17 Dec 1994 Course 154 Course
Service End No Details
Remarks :
Promotions Gazetted
Fg Offr : 17 Dec 1995Wg Cdr : 17 Dec 2007
Google the Bharat Rakshak Website for : "S Sharma"
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Awards and Decorations


Number of Awards: 1
 
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg CdrSaurabh Sharma23209 F(P)Award Date 26 Jan 2015Announced 26 Jan 2015
Details : Wing Commander Saurabh Sharma (23209) Flying Pilot is on the posted strength of An-32 Squadron (Sqn) with effect from 26 Jun 11 and has been dedicatedly performing the duties of pilots training officer. He was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 17 Dec 94, is a Qualified Flying Instructor holding category / instrument rating NMG and has varied and extensive flying experience of over 7000 hours. On 01 Apr 14, he was detailed to undertake a Transport Support Role (TSR) sortie to Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) Kargil in support of the Border Roads Organisation. The mission involved carrying 35 passengers in addition to five crew members and was combined with pilot training. During descent towards Kargil, when the aircraft was below hill crest level 'RIGHT PROP LOCKED' annunciator came on. The Officer immediately took the decision to divert to Leh since landing at Kargil is difficult considering the length of the runway available. Further check of parameters revealed that the torque of right engine was critically low. Subsequently, RIGHT ENG BEARING TEMP and 'RIGHT ENG LOW OIL indicators also came on. The multiple emergencies, with the aircraft in hills close to the LOC, required prompt decision making and high situational awareness and diversion to Leh was ruled out. Any delay in feathering the engine would have led to engine seizure or fire with disastrous consequences. Once the engine was shut down, the aircraft could not maintain height and careful handling was required to maintain terrain clearance and executing a safe single engine landing at a high elevation ALG (Kargil). Also, the fact that the co-pilot was under training added to the adverse situation. During this operation with passengers, Wg Cdr Sharma did not have the option of ejecting the load and instead had the additional responsibility of saving the 40 lives on board. All these factors combined put the Captain of the aircraft in a very precarious situation. The emergency demanded courage in the face of heavy odds, good system knowledge, analytical ability combined with a high degree of situational awareness and area knowledge. The officer analysed the situation quickly and with his presence of mind and fortitude, managed to recover the aircraft safely. For his act of exceptional courage and bravery in saving the lives of 40 personnel on board by successfully executing a single engine landing after critical engine failure at a high altitude ALG, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Saurabh Sharma.
Unit :
Reference : Air Force Day Booklet