| Wing Commander Alok Kumar Yadav (22976) Flying (Pilot) is posted as the Commanding Officer of a frontline operational Mi-17 helicopter unit in the North-Eastern sector since 19 Mar 12. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor, Helicopter Combat Leader and has been a Directing Staff at the Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment. He has flown over 4000 hours on various helicopters. On 28 May 12. Wg Cdr Alok Kumar Yadav was authorised to fly an NVG (Night Vision Goggle) conversion instructional sortie. On take off leg his trainee pilot experienced a yaw to the starboard side and the crew monitored 'Engine High Vibration' light on. At the same moment Wg Cdr Alok Kumar Yadav saw a ball of fire erupting from the starboard engine. He immediately took over controls. appreciated the situation and announced his decision to force land the helicopter on a clear field in the reciprocal direction of take off. During the reciprocal turn he ordered his Flight Engineer to switch of the enflamed engine and operate the fire extinguishers, but the fire continued to blaze. Considering there were already other helicopters on NVG in the circuit, he promptly gave an RT call informing the other helicopters. He carried out a safe landing on the selected field in a truly professional manner. After landing he immediately. along with his crew, vacated the helicopter and directed the fire fighters to the spot. A reconstruction of the entire profile confirms that he had barely 10 seconds to appreciate the emergency. correlate his position relative to the runway and monitor the traffic before taking a decision. If that window of time was lost either due to delayed appreciation or lack of judgment, it would have proved catastrophic as it would have caused a major fire related explosion in the air and recovery would have been impossible. Added to the difficulty level was the fact that he was on NVGs with limited field of view and vision. He quickly assessed that if he continued on the take off leg he would not be able to clear the habited surroundings, which would have proven catastrophic, hence he decided to land in the reciprocal direction on a clear field despite being low in height. In doing so he displayed, exemplary courage. thereby living up to the gallant tradition of the Indian Air Force. Post flight inspection revealed that the starboard engine of the helicopter had caught fire and parts of the engine had melted due to its raging intensity. Wg Cdr Alok Kumar Yadav, thus, displayed extreme professionalism and bravery in the face of a deteriorating air situation and an impending danger to the life of personnel on board. His gallant act ensured safe recovery of the entire crew and the helicopter. For his act of courage in the face of a grave emergency and display of absolute resolve to handle the regressing situation which resulted in saving service assets, lives on ground and on board the helicopter, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Wing Commander Alok Kumar Yadav.