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Squadron Leader Kuppuswamy Lakshmi Narayanan

Service No 5053 Branch GD(P)
Date of Birth: 20 Nov 1936
Date Commissioned 14 Jan 1956 Course 67 Course
Service End Died in Service 12 May 1970
Remarks :
Google the Bharat Rakshak Website for : "K L Narayanan"

Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 2
Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Flt LtKuppuswamy Lakshmi Narayanan5053 GD(P)Award Date 26 Jan 1962Announced 10 Sep 1962
Details : Citation / Details Not Available
Unit :
Reference : Gazette of India , 22nd September 1962 - No.56 - Pres/62 dated 10th September 1962
Vir Chakra
Flt LtKuppuswamy Lakshmi Narayanan5053 GD(P)Award Date 04 Oct 1962Announced 12 Nov 1962
Details :

One of our Army posts in Ladakh have been surrounded by Chinese invaders, had to depend solely on air support. Our troops who had endured the siege had to be relieved and this could be done only by helicopter. On 4th October 1062, Squadron Leader Badhwar and Flight Lieutenant Narayanan flew several sorties to carry out this task. During one of the sorties, they experienced loss of engine power and eventually force-landed in a river-bed after avoiding a few Chinese posts. In order to obtain relief, they walked towards one of our posts, but after some time they observed a large number of armed Chinese troops. They then returned to the helicopter and decided to chance a flight. Meanwhile, about 150 Chinese had taken up positions on the hill tops near the helicopter and were beckoning to them to surrender. With great presence of mind, they managed to get to the helicopter and piloted it safely to one of our posts and thus saved valuable lives and equipment.

The cool courage displayed by Squadron Leader Badhwar and Flight Lieutenant Narayanan in a difficult situation was of a high order.

Unit : 107 HU
Reference : Gazette of India , 1st December 1962 - No.71 - Pres/62 dated 12th November 1962

Accidents and Incidents: 1

DateAircraft TypeTail NoPilot/CrewUnitRemarks
12 May 1970HF-24 MarutBR-462Sqn Ldr K L Narayanan*
HALCr on Ferry flt from Blore to Goa

Additional Notes

Remarks: Gp Capt Kapil Bhargava (Email) Note added: 2010-02-20

Sqn Ldr KL (Kiddo) Narayanan was originally a helicopter pilot. The B-R site has the nice citation for his VrC. Hopefully the one for AVSM will also be included soon. It is worth noting that the award of an AVSM to a Flt Lt was and still is very unusual.

The Empire Test Pilots School of UK started running a course for rotary wing test pilots only in 1963. Kiddo Narayanan attended the No. 2 Rotary Wing Course, run simultaneously with the No 23 Course by ETPS in 1964. Thus he was IAF's very first qualified rotary wing test pilot.

At ETPS during the earlier courses all pilots flew all types of aircraft including helicopters. There was no real specialisation for rotary wing aircraft. It is not clear what practice was followed by ETPS for the early rotary wing courses. But it would not be too surprising if their students also flew several fixed wing types. Kiddo could well have flown even fighters and other types of aircraft held by ETPS.

While on deputation to HAL, Sqn Ldr Narayanan did fly single engine fighters and the HF-24. His final flight to Goa was a ferry. Some trials were to be carried out later on the aircraft for which perhaps other test pilots from HAL would have gone to Dabolim.