Wing Commander Avtar Singh (9040) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 25 Dec 64. He flew a total of 5427 hours during his service career of which 3042 hours were on AN-12 aircraft alone. During his flying career, Wing Commander Avtar Singh operated over treacherous terrains both in the Ladakh and in the Eastern Sector in difficult weather conditions.
Wing Commander Avtar Singh was posted to the Aviation Research Centre on deputation on 06 May 86. On 08 Mar 88 while Captain-in-command of an AN-12 aircraft, No. 3 engine caught fire shortly after take off. He demonstrated professional skill of an extremely high order in handling the emergency. As shown by recorded evidence on tape, he maintained his usual calm throughout and provided necessary guidance to his crew to fight the fire which was engulfing the aircraft. Though the aircraft was in a very critical state it was entirely due to his leadership that the crew continued to operate as a cohesive team without any trace of panic. For reasons beyond the control of the Captain and the crew the starboard wing of the aircraft disintegrated and the aircraft crashed on approached only about 5 nautical miles from the runway killing all on board the aircraft.
In recognition of his past professio- nal record, his excellent professional skill and the leadership provided by him to his crew under very adverse circumstances in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Wing Commander Avtar Singh posthumously.