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Wing Commander Balvinder Jit Singh Sandhu

Service No 9427 Branch F(P)

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Date of Birth: 04 Oct 1943
Date Commissioned 16 May 1965 Course 92 Course
Service End Retired on 31 Oct 1993
Remarks :
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Awards and Decorations


Number of Awards: 1
 
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Flt LtBalvinder Jit Singh Sandhu9427 F(P)Award Date Announced 26 Jan 1974
Details :

On the 8th February, 1973 Flight Lieutenant Balvinder Jit Singh Sandhu was Captain of a Packet aircraft on a flight from Port Blair to Dum Dum with fifteen passengers and freight on board. At a distance of 600 nautical miles from Dum Dum, over the sea, the pilot experienced a runway propeller on the starboard engine. Though the pilot immediately took all the corrective actions, as laid down, his attempts to feather the propeller were unsuccessful. Due to the tremendous drag caused by the unfeathered propeller, the aircraft was losing height rapidly. The aircraft was at that time 175 nautical miles from Rangoon, the nearest diversion. Flight Lieutenant Sandhu immediately took stock of the situation and attempted to lighten the aircraft by jettisoning Cargo and other equipment. Despite this the aircraft continued to lose height, and he realised that he could not reach Rangoon. He therefore decided as a last resort, to land the aircraft at Bassein, which has a short unprepared runway. He executed a safe landing without any damage whatsoever to the aircraft. By remaining very cool in this grave emergency, Flight Lieutenant Sandhu was able to take prompt and correct decisions in handling the situation, which otherwise could have assumed fatal proportions. By his example and leadership, he inspired confidence in the crow and passengers.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Balvinder Jit Singh Sandhu displayed courage, determination, and professional skill in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Air Force,

Unit :
Reference : Gazette of India dated 6th July 1974 - No.85 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1974