Number Name Branch Died in Service? Picture?

Wing Commander Padmanabha Ashoka

Service No & Branch 4653 F(P) (Orig: GD(P))
Date of Birth: -- --- ---- Commissioned: 16 Jan 1954 Course: 62 Course
Service End: Retired on 31 Dec 1975 Nick Name : Pop
Qualifications Held :
Remarks :
Promotions Gazetted
Fg Offr : 16 Jan 1955Flt Lt : 16 Jan 1959Sqn Ldr : 16 Jan 1965Wg Cdr : 01 Oct 1972
Training and Other Courses Attended
4 JSW (Cadet) - 01 Jun 19522 PAI (Flt Lt) - 28 Dec 1958
Badges Qualified
Google the Bharat Rakshak Website for : "P Ashoka"
Notes:1)Branch is at retirement and may not match with branch at Commission 2)Notional seniority is reflected in dates of substantive rank.

Appointments, Postings & Other Service Particulars

- 01 Dec 1963Flt LtEmpire Test Pilots School, UKFarnborough Test Pilot Course 22nd Course
01 Aug 1968 - Sqn LdrHALBangalore Test Pilot
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Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 2
Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn LdrPadmanabha Ashoka4653 GD(P)Award Date Announced 26 Jan 1969
Details :

Squadron Leader Padmanabha Ashoka has been actively associated with flight test duties in a Testing Unit. He has been largely responsible for expanding the flight envelope of the HF-24 aircraft. He has also been responsible for recommending a modification for better rates of roll on this aircraft. Due to his efforts, enough information on single engine performance, radii of action in the ground attack role, thrust boundaries, techniques for aerobatic manoeuvres etc of HF-24 aircraft was gathered, thus assuring in getting the aircraft operational early.

Throughout Squadron Leader Padmanabha Ashoka displayed professional skill and devotion to duty in the best traditions of the Indian Air Force.

Unit : A&ATU
Reference : Gazette of India dated 12th April 1969 : No.18 - Pres/69 dated 26th January 1969
Bar to Vayu Sena Medal
Wg CdrPadmanabha Ashoka4653 F(P)Award Date Announced 26 Jan 1974
Details :

Wing Commander Padmanabha Ashoka was commissioned as a Pilot in the Flying Branch of the Indian Air Force in January 1954. His services were loaned to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in August, 1968. As the Chief Test Pilot of Kanpur Division of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, he carried out all test flying connected with the HS-748 freighter aircraft right from the clearance of prototype to the completion of freighter trials. This involved 40 sorties averaging at 35 to 40 minutes duration each besides 5 hours of initial clearance flying. Without any past flying experience in paratrooping or supply dropping missions, he carried out flying with an extremely high standard of accuracy and completed the task ahead of schedule. During the trials, he also developed flying technique for paratrooping and supply dropping which produced excellent results. He carried out the proto type testing with doors open on both sides for the first time on HS-748 aircraft. Automatic aerial delivery system required flying the aircraft at a nose up altitude for automatic ejection of loads. He carefully analysed the flying requirement and developed a flying technique which produced excellent results in supply dropping exercises.

Throughout, Wing Commander Padmanabha Ashoka displayed courage, professional skill and exceptional devotion to duty.

Unit : HAL
Reference : Gazette of India dated 6th July 1974 - No.85 - Pres/74 dated 26th January 1974

Accidents and Incidents: 1

DateAircraft TypeTail NoPilot/CrewUnitRemarks
24 Feb 1960GnatIE-1069Flt Lt Padmanabha Ashoka
A1ATUPilot Ejected at 120

Additional Notes

Remarks: Blue Skies Podcast Note added: 2022-01-15
Blue Skies Podcast:S1Ep24: P Ashoka - The life and times of one of India's most famous test pilots

The data in the header section of this page comes from the Gazette of India - Click here to see the source
Note: All the data available here is publicly available in the Gazette of India, published by the Indian Government, or from public domain sources, press releases about Awards and Right-To-Information (RTI) Requests. Additionally data shared by veterans is added to the page with permission. No data with respect to serving officers below the rank of AVM is displayed. Information in Gazette of India and Award citations and photographs as released by the Indian Air Force are the only details displayed.