I am very sad to inform you all that Air Marshal CKS Raje, died in the RR Hospital, Delhi Cantt, on 26 April 2010. May his soul rest in peace, Amen. He had complications in respect of Kidneys as well as serious cardiac problems. He is survived by his wife and two sons, Milan a Doctor of Medicine working in Sharjah and Manoj settled in Chandigarh.
Air Marshal's name was synonymous with C119 G, Packet aircraft. He landed at the highest airfield in the world with this machine. The airfield is Daulat Bigoldi, height over 14000 feet. His name is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records. It is a mere coincidence that Air Cmde Chacko who breathed his last recently was intimately connected with Air Marshal Raje. Both were involved with the manufacturers in fitting the Jet Pack on the Packet aircraft. After many fatal accidents, the Jet Pack was indeed a tremendous Add On to safety and brought cheer to 12 Squadron. The number of accidents reduced tremendously. Air Cmde Chacko had bet his life on that Jet Pack and sure enough it paid dividends. Air Force Historians should recorded these two individuals in golden letters while writing Transport Support Operations in the J &K Sector.
Rajiv Gandhi our late PM was great admirer of Air Marshal Raje. When he became the PM he brought Air Marshal to the Civil Aviation as the DGCA. Like late Air Marshal J Zaheer, Raje too brought a shine to the Regulatory function. Rajiv Gandhi, being a forward looking person, appointed Air Marshal Raje as the Chairman of the Committee to suggest changes to the Civil Aviation Sector. Raje in 1984 suggested that India should have Civil Aviation Authority of India. An unanimous proposal was sent to the Govt. Before it reached the PM, the powers be, who wear two hats, one as a member of the Committee and the other as a Addl/Joint Secretary to the Government justified just the opposite as to what was recommended. Unfortunately Rajiv Gandhi buckled under beauracratic pressure. and instead he created National Airports Authority( NAA).of which he made Air Marshal Raje as the First Chairman. Where as International Airports Authority( IAA) was headed by a Chairman with Schedule B status, and Rajiv Gandhi made National Airports Authority as Schedule A much to the unhappiness of some in the ministry I am told.. Ironically Air HQ's Sent senior Air Marshals to IAA as the Chairman later on, which is equivalent to Addl Secretary.
For paucity of time I must stop now and will, later on write about Air Marshal Raje's contributions to the Civil Aviation and the Country.
May the Almighty bless Air Marshal Raje's soul and give courage to his family to bear this loss. Amen.