Awardee List for the HTS

A total of 9 Awards are listed.
Vir Chakra : 1 | Vayu Sena Medal : 7 | Vishist Seva Medal : 1 |
Vir Chakra
Flt Lt Mahabir Prasad Premi 8378 F(P)Unit : Helicopter Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 72
Details :

During the operations against Pakistan in December, 1971, Flight Lieutenant Mahabir Prasad Premi was commanding a Helicopter detachment in the Rajasthan sector. On the 6th December, 1971, while engaged in casualty evacuation he discovered an unexploded bomb lying near his Helicopter. On two early occasions delay fuse bombs had exploded in its vicinity. Realising that if the bomb near the Helicopter exploded the Helicopter would be damaged, he decided to take off the Helicopter. After he had started up the Helicopter, an air raid alert was given over the airfield, but inspite of it he took off and landed the Helicopter in a safer area. Immediately after this bomb exploded as expected but by his timely action the Helicopter was saved. On the 11th December, 1971, he evacuated two casualties from an area which was under enemy air attack.

Throughout, Flight Lieutenant Mahabir Prasad Premi displayed gallantry, professional skill and devotion to duty of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India , 29th July 1972 - No.92 - Pres/72 dated 18th July 1972 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Sivaramakrishnan Kalyanaraman 7704 F(P)Unit : Helicopter Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 80
Details :

Squadron Leader Sivaramakrishnan Kalyanaraman was posted to Helicopter Training School in April, 1971. Within a period of ten months, he has flown 310 hours and has conducted two conversion courses and two ad-hoc conversion courses, without any suspensions. His excellent leadership has enabled the Helicopter Training School to complete a total of 3844:50 hours of accident/ incident free flying during 1977 as a result of which the school won the Headquarters Training Command Flight Safety Trophy. In November, 1978, the unit was called upon to send a detachment of two helicopters for Cyclone relief operation to Sri Lanka. The detachment, which was led by Squadron Leader Kalyanaraman, flew 163 missions and dropped over 1,00,000 pounds of food and medicine packets to the cyclone affected people. He himself flew 85 missions. During the relief operation, he had to put in nearly 18 hours every day for over a period of thirteen days.

Squadron Leader Sivaramakrishnan Kalayanaraman has thus displayed professional skill, high qualifies of leadership and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 13th June 1981 - No.34-Pres/81 dated 26th January 1981 

Vayu Sena Medal
Sqn Ldr Santosh Suresh Kothari 16788 F(P)Unit : Helicopter Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 94
Details :

Sqn Ldr Santosh Suresh Kothari is on the posted strength of Helicopter Training School (HTS) as a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) since Jan 92.

On 11 Sep 92, Sqn Ldr Kothari was detailed for an instructional sortie on Chetak Helicopter with a Flight Cadet who was in his ab-initio training stage. The first exercise was a quick stop over the taxy track. The Flt Cdr executed the exercise with Sqn Ldr Kothari flowing on the controls. As the Helicopter was maneuvered to a hover after the exer cise, a sudden and vicious yaw to the left developed. Within a matter of a few seconds, the helicopter rotated on its vertical axis 3 to 4 times, indicating a tail rotor failure. Sqn Ldr Kothari, despite the sudden and vicious rotation, took over the controls and executed an immediate landing. The actions taken by him under these trying circumstances were prompt and correct. Tail rotor failure is a very critical emergency in a single rotor helicopter. In such an eventuality the helicopter rotates viciously without any control. If the pilot had not acted promptly in the correct manner, it would have culminated into total destruction of the helicopter and the loss of invaluable lives. The control of emergency in a most professional and cool manner by the pilot averted a major accident.

For his act of courage and airmanship of exceptional order, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Sqn Ldr SS Kothari.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th March 1994. - No.20-Pres/94 dated 26th January 1994 

Vayu Sena Medal
Cpl Subrata Bose 677436 ORUnit : Helicopter Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 94
Details :

Cpl Subrata Bose is on the posted strength of Helicopter Training School since May 89.

On 19 Nov 92, Cpl Bose was detailed to proceed to Adoni on detachment for flood relief operations. Besides servicing Helicopter, Cpl Bose was asked by the Captain to assist the crew in winching operations. Cpl Bose readily agreed and was taken on board the helicopter for a winch operation involving the rescue of 44 marooned people, who were stranded on the roof of a kutcha structure.

As the helicopter was manoeuvered over the stranded people, Cpl Bose was winched down to the roof to assist the evacuees in securing themselves onto the winch cable. The villagers were reluctant to be winched up and away to safety, leaving behind their homes and belongings. Moreover, language proved to be the major communication barrier with the villagers. Cpl Bose through sheer perseverance convinced the villagers of the need for evacuation. Time was running out on the endurance of the helicopter besides the fact that the roof on which Cpl Bose and the villagers were standing could have caved in any time. Each of the 44 persons were strapped onto the winch cable securely and evacuated to safety. In true spirit of Air Force traditions, Cpl Bose chose to be the last for being winched up.

For this act of exceptional courage and sincerity, the President is pleased to award Vayu Sena Medal to Cpl S Bose.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 19th March 1994. - No.20-Pres/94 dated 26th January 1994 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Sqn Ldr Sanjay Mittal 16773 F(P)Unit : Helicopter Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 99
Details :

Squadron Leader Sanjay Kumar Mittal, YSM (16773) Flying (Pilot), has been on the posted strength of HTS, AF since 28 April 96. He has been carrying out the duties of Flight Commander, No. 1 Sqn. On 24 October 97, Sqn Leader Sanjay Kumar Mittal, during an instructional Pilot Nav sortie with Pilot officer S. Bagga heard a loud explosive noise from the rear quarter. Immediately thereafter, the helicopter started losing height and cyclic control went into oscillatory to and fro motion. The symptoms presented by the aircraft were a rare occurrence and not commonly experienced in the helicopter fleet. Squadron Leader S Mittal instantly recognised the deteriorating conditions, and with great presence of mind elected to terminate the flight. The control forces being experienced from the oscillatory rotor became prohibitive and turned to churning as the ground was closing in. Sensing the incapability of single pilot control inputs he sought the assistance from the trainee in steering the aircraft away from the obstruction that loomed straight ahead. This timely action saved the crew from possible fatalities. By executing a controlled crash landing he also preserved the valuable evidence so that the cause of the technical defect could be ascertained.

Squadron Leader Mittal displayed situational awareness, alertness and professional competence of a very high order. His timely action averted possible fatalities and preserved valuable evidence.

For his professionalism and devotion to duty the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Squadron Leader Sanjay Kumar Mittal.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 29th May 1999 - No.91-Pres/99 dated 26th January 1999 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Raghvinder Nath Joshi 15432 F(P)Unit : Helicopter Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 01
Details :

Wing Commander Raghvinder Nath Joshi (15432) Flying (Pilot) was commissioned as Helicopter Pilot in the flying branch on 07 Jul 1978. He is an A-2 QFI and holds Cat A/Master Green rating on Mi-8, Mi-17, Chetak and Cheetah helicopters. He was served in Aircrew Examination Board and Air HQ Communication Squadron and has commanded a Helicopter Unit.

Wg Cdr RN Joshi was posted to Helicopter Training School in Apr 98. In his initial appointment as Chief Group Instructor he restructured the training schedule, called for feed back from instructors and student officers, identified weak areas and continuously monitored progress. His deep and personal involvement resulted in the performance of trainee officers showing a continuous upward trend.

In his tenure as Chief Flying Instructor since Nov 98, he has utilised his vast experience in streamlining the flying procedures, standa rdising and computerising phase briefs and manoeuvre briefs. The good flight safety record and high standards achieved by the School, as brought out during inspections, have been largely due to the sustained work put in by him.

As the IInd I/C of the School, Wg Cdr RN Joshi has taken very active part in all activities of the school. His cheerful disposition, sincerity, devotion to duty and positive attitude has been a source of inspiration to the younger generation.

For his exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Raghvinder Nath Joshi.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 26th May 2001 - No.68-Pres/2001 dated 26th January 2001 

Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty)
Wg Cdr Sunil Kumar Bhatia 17360 F(P)Unit : Helicopter Training School  Award Date Announced 26 Jan 07
Details :

Wing Commander Sunil Kumar Bhatia (17360) F (P) has been on the posted strength of Helicopter Training School since 21 Jul 04. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and an IRIE, and is posted as Chief Flying Instructor at this School.

In his spotless career spanning 23 years, he has logged a total of 5550 hrs of accident/ incident free flying, including 780 hrs by night. He holds Cat/IR AMG on Chetak/ Cheetah and Mi-8/Mi-17. He has served as Flight Commander of Helicopter Flight, Chief Operations Officer at AF Stn Mohanbari, and as Commanding Officer of Helicopter Unit. He was commended by the Chief of Air Staff in 1998.

Being a QFI with rich and varied experience, he has always taken keen interest in the training aspects of the establishment. He has completed eight years in Training Command, spread over four tenures of active, accident/ incident free flying. Endorsed on HPT-32, Chetak/Cheetah and Mi-8/Mi-17 aircraft, he has accrued a total of 2355 hrs of instructional flying, including 456 hrs by night. He has been an IRIE since 1997.

In this School itself, he has been posted as a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI), Flight Commander, and now Chief Flying Instructor (CFI). In his current tenure, he has been the senior CFI for three terms, and at present is the only CFI for this term. He has worked consistently towards improvement of training standards. He has contributed immensely towards the standardization of procedures, phase briefs and instructional nuances. Having set high professional standards for all staff and trainees of this School, he spares no effort to ensure that these standards are met and maintained at all times. A true Air Warrior, he has always lead by personal examples, leaving a valuable imprint in the tender minds of all the trainees who have interacted with him.

For his high degree of professionalism, ability to consistently perform to the exacting standards of the Indian Air Force and exceptional devotion to duty, the Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal' to Wing Commander Sunil Kumar Bhatia.

Reference: Gazette of India dated 17th March 2007. No.90-Pres/2007 dated 26th January 2007 

Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)
Sqn Ldr Ashok Kumar 24900 F(P)Unit : Helicopter Training School  Award Date 30 Sep 09 Announced 15 Aug 10
Details : Squadron Leader Ashok Kumar (24900) Flying (Pilot)is on the posted strength of Helicopter Training School (HTS) since 21 Jun 09. On 30 Sep 09, at around 1530h HTS was tasked to rescue five youths stranded in the middle of Dindi River (120 KM South of Hyderabad) due to flash floods. On receipt of this information, despite his extremely limited experience on type, Sqn Ldr Ashok volunteered for the task. On reaching the site, the crew realised the extreme danger the stranded persons faced due the fast rising current, and swung into action immediately. Sqn Ldr Ashok as winch operator, along with the other crew members, rescued the five stranded persons in an expeditious manner. Any delay in the rescue would have resulted in certain death of these stranded youths. Sqn Ldr Ashok again volunteered to take part in the subsequent relief operations conducted by the school in the districts of Kurnool and Mehboobnagar during the floods which devastated Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in the first week of October 09. During these operations, he was instrumental in rescuing 19 persons marooned in flood waters at different locations around Kurnool as a winch operator. One rescue mission carried out on 05 Oct 09 was achieved under exceptionally demanding circumstances, wherein the crew had to rescue a family of four members including two small children, who had been marooned on a tree submerged in several feet of fast flowing flood waters for three days. The rescue mission was demanding since the crew could neither see the persons nor access them conventionally. With his ingenuity and quick thinking, Sqn Ldr Ashok innovatively floated the rescue harness to the marooned family and winched them up through the thick branches of the tree, at times even dragging them for a few feet through the flood waters. To achieve this successful rescue, he displayed a high level of skill, quick and decisive thinking as well as crew co-ordination and control of a high order, as the aircraft had to be continually repositioned in the process of rescue. During the entire flood relief operations he flew numerous sorties from first light to sunset, which included six rescue missions saving 24 lives in highly demanding situations, exacting terrain and marginal weather. For this act of exceptional courage, Hon'ble President is pleased to award 'Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry)' to Squadron Leader Ashok Kumar.
Reference: Air Force Day Booklet 

Vishist Seva Medal
WO Diwan Chand 31684 ORUnit : Helicopter Training School  Award Date 26 Jan 75 Announced 26 Jan 75
Details :

Warrant Officer Diwan Chand was serving as Warrant Officer in-charge of the Daily Servicing Section of the Helicopter Training School. During 1972-73 the service ability state of BELL Helicopter was very critical, while the school was committed with heavy flying tasks of three courses a year. Warrant Officer Diwan Chand with ingenuity of mind and technical skill worked with his men round the clock to produce enough serviceable aircraft and finish the flying training tasks in time.

Awarded Vishisht Seva Medal for distinguished service e of a high order.

Reference: Gazette of India Notification Dated : 26 Jan 1975 Number: 

The Awards Database presented here was made possible by the kind generosity of Air Marshal Bharat Kumar, author of Courage & Devotion to Duty : A Chronicle of IAF's Honours and Awards (1932-2008). Air Marshal Bharat Kumar had very graciously given permission to reproduce the citations from the book on this website.
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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.