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Wing Commander Vishal Gupta

Service No 24169 Branch F(P)
Date of Birth:
Date Commissioned 21 Dec 1996 Course 158 Course
Service End No Details
Remarks :
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Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 1
Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Flt LtVishal Gupta24169 F(P)Award Date Announced 26 Jan 2003
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Vishal Gupta (24169) F (P) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 21 Dec 1996 and is presently held on the posted strength of a Squadron of AF wef 12 Jun 2000. He is Fully Ops on Jaguar with a total of 295 h by day and 20 h by night on type.

On the night of 21 Jan 2002, he was authorized to fly a Medium Level Navigation sortie by moon phase. After a normal take off, on retracting undercarriage, the aircraft started pitching up sharply. All efforts to arrest the pitch up by pushing the stick forward and use of main and standby trimmer failed. To retain control over the aircraft he critically analysed the uncommanded motion of the aircraft, switched off reheats, banked the aircraft adequately to restrict pitch up and managed to level out at 10000 feet. He subsequently remained in turn in order to maintain height. He then started dropping his speed to ensure that level flight could be maintained after lowering of flaps. With the reduction of speed, lowering the flaps and jettisoning of excess fuel, he was able to regain some positive control over the aircraft in level flight. Subsequently, he ascertained that he could fly the aircraft and maintain level flight in landing configuration, with large but manageable stick forces. When fuel was reduced to landing configuration, he was fed into a Ground Controlled Approach (GCA) wherein he aligned himself with the runway well in advance and executed a safe landing. During this process he had to use all his skills to regulate the amount of forward pressure to maintain the glide slope, round out and touchdown.

During investigation, it was revealed that a cross point screw driver was stuck in the tail plane control rods. This physical restriction resulted in the control column getting almost jammed in fore and aft axis, and could only be moved by the force of both hands of the pilot. Faced with a critical situation Flt Lt Gupta kept his cool and took prompt action to retain control over the aircraft that had developed control restriction due to presence of foreign object. Although he had very limited experience by night on type, he displayed exceptional flying skills in overcoming a very serious flying situation. He handled a complex malfunction in a calm, composed and professional manner and thus averted the loss of a valuable asset of the nation.

For an act of courage, exceptional flying ability and presence of mind, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Seva Medal' to Flight Lieutenant Vishal Gupta.

Unit : 14 Sqn
Reference : Gazette of India dated 22nd March 2003 - No.43-Pres/2003 dated 26th January 2003