| Squadron Leader Saurabh Gupta (26979) was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a pilot in the flying branch on 22 Jun 02. He is on the posted strength of Flying Instructors School at Air Force Station Tambaram as a Directing Staff since 19 Dec 12. On 13 Feb 13, he was authorised to fly a general handling instructional sortie for the benefit of a trainee QFI. During the sortie, while opening throttle from idle to maximum, the engine RPM and thrust did not build up above 58%. Sqn Ldr Saurabh Gupta analysed the grave nature of emergency situation in a calm, composed and professional manner. With the available thrust at the maximum obtainable RPM of 58%, it was not possible for the aircraft to maintain level flight or for a normal approach and landing to be carried out implying that the pilot had only one option left for recovering the aircraft at that stage, which was to glide the aircraft and intercept the force landing pattern at the nearest airfield. This consideration left a negligible margin of error for landing the aircraft. A go around due to any reason would have been impossible and would have invariably led to an ejection from such a low altitude, resulting in loss of an aircraft and possible injury to the pilots. Although the aircraft was 25 Km away from the base with just adequate height to carry out a force landing, he correctly assessed the aircraft position with respect to the airfield. Keeping these restrictions in mind, he took over control from the trainee QFI, skillfully maneuvered the aircraft to intercept the forced landing pattern and carried out an uneventful landing. The landing conditions were all the more challenging due to strong cross wind, short runway length at Tambaram airfield and close proximity to Chennai international airport. Sqn Ldr Saurabh Gupta handled a critical emergency with an exceptional high level of skill and professionalism. He maintained his composure in a dire emergency situation and retrieved the aircraft and his co-pilot safely thus displaying a very high sense of devotion to duty. For exceptional devotion to duty, Hon'ble President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) to Squadron Leader Saurabh Gupta.