Number Name Branch Died in Service? Picture?

Squadron Leader Kuppuswamy Lakshmi Narayanan

Service No & Branch 5053 GD(P) Stream :Fighters| Helicopters
Date of Birth: 20 Nov 1936 Commissioned: 14 Jan 1956 Course: 67 Course
Service End: Died in Service 12 May 1970 (34 Years age) Aircraft Loss HF-24 Marut at Dabolim. C Nick Name : Kiddo
Qualifications Held :
Remarks : First Rotary Wing TP in IAF
Badges Qualified
Google the Bharat Rakshak Website for : "K L Narayanan"
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 1964Flt LtEmpire Test Pilots School, UKFarnborough Test Pilot Course 2 RW Course
08 Apr 1966 - Flt LtHALBangalore Test Pilot
Incomplete Information? Additions? Corrections? Please download Template File and follow instructions.

Awards and Decorations

Number of Awards: 2
Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Flt LtKuppuswamy Lakshmi Narayanan5053 GD(P)Award Date 26 Jan 1962Announced 10 Sep 1962
Details :

Flight Lieutenant Kuppuswamy Lakshmi Narayanan is posted as a Flight Commander to one of our helicopter flights operating in the forward areas of J & K. He has been one of the pioneers in the operation of helicopters in this region and has succeeded in landing at some of the most difficult and hazardous outposts.

On 17th May 1962, an emergency call was received for immediate evacuation of a seriously ill army Jawan from one of our forward posts. In spite of unfavourable weather condition, Flight Lieutenant Narayanan ventured to penetrate the difficult territory and landed his helicopter at a spot where no other helicopter had landed before. But for this timely evacuation rendered possible by this courageous officer there would have been little chance of saving the life of the Jawan.

Again on 6th August, 1962, an emergency call for the evacuation of a Havildar was received from one of our forward posts. The possibility of landing at the helipad had previously been rejected because the area was extremely small and the surrounding hills with its associated turbulence did not permit operations by helicopters. The height of this helipad was 16,000 ft. and critical approach and take off conditions left no margin for an error. However, when this request was repeated by the oupost, Flight Lieutenant Narayanan once again volunteered to carry out what seemed to be an impossible task. He was fully aware of the hazards of this particular operation but with complete disregard to his personal safety, this officer successfully evacuated the Havildar.

The above mentioned actions of Flight Lieutenant Narayanan has proved beyond doubt that he has been a great asset to our forces in Ladakh area. This officer has been operating continuously for over two years and has flown 700 helicopter operational hours in this area. Throughout this period he has displayed conspicuous gallantry with complete disregard to his personal safety. By his gallant efforts he has contributed greatly to the morale of our forces in the forward area.

Unit :
Reference : GoI19620910
Vir Chakra
Flt LtKuppuswamy Lakshmi Narayanan5053 GD(P)Award Date 04 Oct 1962Announced 12 Nov 1962
Details :

One of our Army posts in Ladakh have been surrounded by Chinese invaders, had to depend solely on air support. Our troops who had endured the siege had to be relieved and this could be done only by helicopter. On 4th October 1062, Squadron Leader Badhwar and Flight Lieutenant Narayanan flew several sorties to carry out this task. During one of the sorties, they experienced loss of engine power and eventually force-landed in a river-bed after avoiding a few Chinese posts. In order to obtain relief, they walked towards one of our posts, but after some time they observed a large number of armed Chinese troops. They then returned to the helicopter and decided to chance a flight. Meanwhile, about 150 Chinese had taken up positions on the hill tops near the helicopter and were beckoning to them to surrender. With great presence of mind, they managed to get to the helicopter and piloted it safely to one of our posts and thus saved valuable lives and equipment.

The cool courage displayed by Squadron Leader Badhwar and Flight Lieutenant Narayanan in a difficult situation was of a high order.

Unit : 107 HU
Reference : Gazette of India , 1st December 1962 - No.71 - Pres/62 dated 12th November 1962

Accidents and Incidents: 1

DateAircraft TypeTail NoPilot/CrewUnitRemarks
12 May 1970HF-24 MarutBR-462Sqn Ldr Kuppuswamy Lakshmi Narayanan +
HALHF001. Cr on Ferry f

Additional Notes

Remarks: Gp Capt Kapil Bhargava (Email) Note added: 2010-02-20

Sqn Ldr KL (Kiddo) Narayanan was originally a helicopter pilot. The B-R site has the nice citation for his VrC. Hopefully the one for AVSM will also be included soon. It is worth noting that the award of an AVSM to a Flt Lt was and still is very unusual.

The Empire Test Pilots School of UK started running a course for rotary wing test pilots only in 1963. Kiddo Narayanan attended the No. 2 Rotary Wing Course, run simultaneously with the No 23 Course by ETPS in 1964. Thus he was IAF's very first qualified rotary wing test pilot.

At ETPS during the earlier courses all pilots flew all types of aircraft including helicopters. There was no real specialisation for rotary wing aircraft. It is not clear what practice was followed by ETPS for the early rotary wing courses. But it would not be too surprising if their students also flew several fixed wing types. Kiddo could well have flown even fighters and other types of aircraft held by ETPS.

While on deputation to HAL, Sqn Ldr Narayanan did fly single engine fighters and the HF-24. His final flight to Goa was a ferry. Some trials were to be carried out later on the aircraft for which perhaps other test pilots from HAL would have gone to Dabolim.

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.