|Service No & Branch||17717 F(P)|
|Date of Birth: -- --- ----||Commissioned: 21 Dec 1984||Course: 134 Course|
|Service End:||Retired on 31 Dec 2008 Voluntary Retirement||Nick Name :|
|Qualifications Held :|
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|01 Dec 1985 - 19 Jun 1988||Plt Offr||No.114 Helicopter Unit||Squadron Pilot|
|05 Aug 2002 - 04 Jul 2004||Wg Cdr||No.111 Helicopter Unit||Commanding Officer|
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|Wg Cdr||Sudhir Kumar Sharma||17717 F(P)||Award Date 11 May 2004||Announced 26 Jan 2005|
|Details :|| |
Wing Commander Sudhir Kumar Sharma, Flying (Pilot) is commanding a Helicopter Unit since 05 August 2002.
On 11 May 2004, Wing Commander Sharma was directed to urgently evacuate three members of a mountaineering expedition to Mt Kamet, who were critically injured due to inclement weather. These casualties were at an altitude of 23,260 ft, which is beyond the ceiling of 23,000 ft of Chetak helicopter. Due to their serious injuries, it was impossible to bring them down. Wing Commander Sharma flew in his Cheetah helicopter to the site and on locating the survivors realized that the only option was to land on an unprepared small tabletop sloping area located on an exposed snow covered ledge. Such landing demanded extraordinary courage and exceptional flying skills. Even a slight mishandling of helicopter controls could lead to a catastrophic accident endangering the life of the pilot.
No one in the world had ever attempted landing a helicopter at such a high altitude let alone evacuate casualties from an unprepared, snow bound and sloping piece of ground. Despite the deterring and trying conditions, deteriorating weather, severe turbulence, gusty jet stream exceeding 120 kmph and low margin of power available, Wing Commander Sharma, displaying resolute determination, utmost courage and an utter disregard for his personal safety, landed at the site not once but three times to evacuate the causalities. His courageous act under these near impossible conditions was instrumental in saving the lives of three mountaineers from certain death. The rescue from an altitude of 23,260 feet is the highest ever landing and casualty evacuation by any helicopter and in the process set a world record which has been recognized by Limca Book of World records.
Wing Commander Sudhir Kumar Sharma displayed conspicuous bravery in face of impossible odds, exceptional courage and rescued the mountaineers.
|Unit : 111 HU|
|Reference : Notification No. 125 -Pres/2005 dated 15th August, 2005 published in Part 1 Section 1 Gazette of India dated 15th August, 2005.|