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Wing Commander Gurkirat Singh Sohal

Service No 24181 Branch F(P)
Date of Birth: -- --- --
Date Commissioned 21 Dec 1996 Course 158 Course
Service End Retired on 30 Apr 2017
Remarks :
Promotions Gazetted
Wg Cdr : 21 Dec 2009
Google the Bharat Rakshak Website for : "G S Sohal"
Notes: 1) Ranks shown are substantive ranks at retirement. 2)Branch is at retirement and may not match with branch at Commission 3)Notional seniority is reflected in dates of substantive rank.

Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 1
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Wg CdrGurkirat Singh Sohal24181 F(P)Award Date 26 Jan 2013Announced 26 Jan 2013
Details : Wing Commander Gurkirat Singh Sohal (24181) Flying (pilot) is on the posted strength of a Su-30 MKI squadron since 22 Jun 09. On 13 Dec 11, Wg Cdr Sohal was detailed to fly an Airframe and Engine Check sortie in Su- 30 MKI aircraft. The sortie was uneventful until the aircraft got airborne. Just after getting airborne, the aircraft yawed and rolled viciously to the right and this was noticed by the Air Traffic Controller as well. Wg Cdr Sohal immediately initiated the recovery action and continued to climb to safer heights. The oscillations continued to be violent and dangerous. However, Wg Cdr Sohal quickly decided to ascertain the cause and dared to fly the misbehaving aircraft. He overlooked his personal safety in a desperate attempt to try and get the aircraft under control to effect a safe recovery. Since there were no system failure indications, he applied his logic and knowledge to systematically isolate the systems, which could have caused such a condition of flight. A visual inspection by another aircraft revealed that the aircraft was oscillating viciously and the rudders were fluttering from end to end. During this whole process, Wg Cdr Sohal managed to somehow keep the aircraft pointing away from a populated village, so as to reduce the risk of damage to life and property on ground in case of an ejection . When Wg Cdr Sohal reduced speed to lower the undercarriage, the oscillations increased and the aircraft went out of control. As the aircraft was no longer controllable, ejection was the only option available with the pilots, and after a 22 minutes long ordeal, Wg Cdr Sohal initiated ejection, but not before he had ensured that the aircraft was directed away from the populated village. His presence of mind, when faced with a life threatening situation, helped in preventing loss of many innocent lives on ground. During the post accident analysis, the OEM's mathematical model for such an emergency had indicated loss of controllability of the aircraft beyond first few minutes. The sheer courage displayed by Wg Cdr Sohal for the attempted recovery from such an unprecedented emergency was unparalleled and earned praises from the OEM. The courageous actions of Wg Cdr Sohal to explore all possibilities of recovering the crippled aircraft and to prevent any loss of lives on the ground in spite of an imminent threat to his life were most commendable and exemplary. For his exceptional courage and flying skills in the face of a life threatening situation, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Gurkirat Singh Sohal.
Unit :
Reference : Air Force Day Booklet

Accidents and Incidents: 1

DateAircraft TypeTail NoPilot/CrewUnitRemarks
13 Dec 2011Sukhoi Su-30 MKISB-142Wg Cdr Gurkirat Singh Sohal
Flt Lt Nautiyal
20Crashed at Wade-Bholai village near Pune