On the 24th January, 1979, Squadron Leader David Joseph Achates Defigueiredo was participating in a seven aircraft Republic Day Fly-past rehearsal formation. On completion of the rehearsal he rejoined circuit. As he commenced a descending turn to the left, a hydraulic malfunction occurred in the control circuit to the ailerons. The rate of roll to the left suddenly increased and Squadron Leader David Defigueiredo found that the control stick had jammed and could not be centralized. As the aircraft rolled on to its back the nose dropped into a spiraling descent. In such an uncontrollable situation, so close to the ground, the immediate, and entirely correct, reaction of most pilots would be to abandon the aircraft while adequate height was available. However, without losing his presence of mind, he continued to apply various corrective measures in order to save the precious aircraft. Finally, he could pull the aircraft out of its dive barely 600 ft. above ground level and brought it safely back to the base.
In this action, Squadron Leader David Defigueiredo displayed courage and determination, professional competence and devotion to duty of a high order.