On the 17th September, 1980, Squadron Leader Adhip Banerjee (11592) Flying (Pilot), who is a test pilot, was detailed to carry out an air test on Hunter aircraft. During the descent after the air test while breaking clouds at 1000 feet a vulture hit the front windshield of the aircraft. The impact shattered the canopy causing an explosion and resulted in the depressurization of the cockpit and very strong air blast. The vulture came through the wind shield and hit him directly on the face. The impact was fortunately taken by the visor and helmet. His visor and the front canopy were badly smudged with blood and pulp of the bird as a result of which the Pilot's frontal vision was completely obstructed. At this juncture, Squadron Leader Adhip Banerjee displayed great presence of mind and resolve to bring the aircraft to base safely. He immediately got on to instruments which he could barely see. Since there were clouds above and ground was only 1000 feet below, utmost flying skill and accuracy was necessary to maneuver the aircraft.
The pilot dropped speed and checked up all other aircraft systems while turning to downwind on mental DR. Since the noise level in the cockpit was very high due to air flow, Squadron Leader Banerjee transmitted the extent of damage of the aircraft and asked Air Traffic Control to fire green cartridge on finals. After dropping speed, barely keeping his eyes open, he sighted the runway with great difficulty and carried out a smooth landing saving costly aircraft from destruction.
Squadron Leader Adhip Banerjee thus displayed a very high standard of flying skill and presence of mind in bringing the aircraft safely back in complete disregard of his personal safety.