Squadron Leader Rajesh Purohit (19170) F (P) is on the posted strength of a Air Force Station since 01 Jul 96. While on attachment of FIS, AF on 21 Apr 99 he was authorised to fly a sortie on HPT32 aircraft with Sqn Leader Milind Kumar (20479) F (P) as Co-Pilot. After take off, while climbing through 450 m, he heard a loud bang and experienced loss of power. Correctly analysing that the engine had failed and realising that he was below the minimum bail out height, he picked up a field for forced landing and turned immediately towards it. The approach to the field had obstructions in the form of tall trees and a boundary wall. Squadron Leader R Purohit maneuvered the aircraft towards the only gap available between the trees and boundary wall and successfully force landed the aircraft. During the landing roll he maneuvered clear of obstructions and managed to stop with only with left tyre deflated.
Squadron Leader R Purohit handled the emergency in a cool and professional manner displaying clarity of thought. His precise and correct actions in the face of a grave emergency resulted in the aircraft being landed safely. This would help the investigating agencies to ascertain the exact cause of engine failure. Squadron Leader R Purohit saved the aircraft from what could have been a serious accident.
For his professionalism and distinguished service, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vishisht Seva Medal' to Squadron Leader R Purohit.