On 26th February 1957, the Prime Minister and his party were travelling from Mangalore to Raipur in a twin-engined I.A.F. plane piloted by Sqn. Ldr. Rufus. About an hour and a quarter after taking off, fire and considerable vibration in the port engine were noticed. Immediate steps were taken to put out the fire. With one of the two engines out of action, Sqn. Ldr. Rufus decided to land at a disused kutcha landing strip at Raichur 25 miles away-the nearest regularly used airfield being more than 80 miles. By exceptionally accurate judgment and flying skill he made a perfect landing thus ensuring complete safety of the Prime Minister and his party.
Throughout this incident, Sqn. Ldr. Rufus handled the plane with cool courage and skill in the best traditions of Indian Air Force.