|Service No & Branch||25603 F(P)|
|Date of Birth:||Commissioned: 19 Jun 1999||Course: 163 Course|
|Qualifications Held :|
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|Sqn Ldr||Pranay Kumar||25603 F(P)||Award Date 02 Sep 2007||Announced 15 Aug 2008|
|Details :|| |
On 02 September 2007, Squadron Leader Pranay Kumar was detailed as an additional pilot for a rescue mission. The mission entailed winching up of a citizen stranded in the middle of a gorge of Chambal river affected by flash floods. The prevailing conditions of total darkness were not conducive for operations with unaided vision. The crew took a decision to proceed with the mission on Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) which provided them with better situational awareness.
When the winch cradle was lowered, the survivor could not strap himself to the winch due to extreme fatigue caused by battling the water currents for over six hours. At this juncture, Sqn Ldr Pranay Kumar immediately volunteered to go down to rescue the survivor. Knowing fully well the perils to his own life, he briefed the Flight Gunners on emergency signals and got lowered in the gorge. He guided the crew of the helicopter using hand signals and inspite the darkness and strong water current, managed to reach the survivor. On reaching the survivor he realised that the space was insufficient to get down for strapping the survivor to the harness. He instantly look the decision to physically tie the survivor to himself. Having done this while being half immersed in the strong flow of the water, he gripped the survivor and holding onto him tightly, signalled the Flight Gunner to winch them up. Using all the physical strength that he could muster, Sqn Ldr Pranay Kumar success fully held onto the survivor till the end of the rescue operation.
Squadron Leader Pranay Kumar displayed extra ordinary courage and valouy in adverse circumstances while trying to save the lives of fellow citizens.
|Reference : Notification No. 106-Pres/2008 dated 15th August, 2008 published in Part 1, Section 1, Gazette of India dated 8th November, 2008.|