|Date of Birth:|
|Date Commissioned||19 Jan 1963||Course||83 Course|
|Service End||Retired on 31 Jan 1985|
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|21 Aug 1981 - 30 Sep 1982||Wg Cdr||No.112 Helicopter Unit||Bagdogra/ Yelahanka||Commanding Officer|
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|Wg Cdr||Baljit Singh Chhoker||7018 F(P)||Award Date 29 Jan 1982||Announced 23 Dec 1982|
|Details :|| |
On the 29th January, 1982, Wing Commander Baljit Singh Chhoker (7018) Flying (Pilot) was authorized to carry out an air test on a Chetak Helicopter at a forward helipad in North Sikkim after a major component change. He was also authorized to ferry the aircraft back to the base subject to its serviceability. The helicopter was found to be fully serviceable throughout ground run, hover check and air test by the pilots.
Fully satisfied with the serviceability of aircraft Wg Cdr Chhokar who is highly experienced and a Test Pilot on type took off from helipad for the base. After flying for 5 minutes at a height of 17,500' (i.e., 1500' AGL), lateral oscillations of low amplitude and low frequency were observed by him. Wg Cdr Chhokar, sensing it to be unusual, decided to return to the helipad. At this stage lateral oscillations increased in amplitude, became divergent and cyclic flew out of the pilot's hands and started churning. The aircraft started pitching up and down. Reacting to grave emergency where loss in lateral as well as pitch axis was felt, he decided to force land the aircraft immediately and attempted a distress call. Partial control of the aircraft was regained just before landing and a smooth touch down in a totally inhospitable terrain was executed.
Further investigation revealed sudden failure of one of the three spacer cable from both ends. Earlier cases of such damage to the aircraft had invariably resulted into loss of the helicopter as well as the pilots. In making this extremely difficult recovery of the helicopter, Wg Cdr Chhoker had not only saved a valuable aircraft and lives of his co-pilot and his own but had made the investigation of the cause of the failure possible which in future will save further accidents.
Wing Commander Baljit Singh Chhoker thus displayed exemplary courage, devotion to duty and extremely high standard of flying skill in the best tradition of the Air Force. '
|Reference : Gazette of India , 1st January 1983 - No.54 - Pres/82 dated 23rd December 1982|