Tag Archives: Chandigarh

A Tale that ended well!

Air Mshl Raghu Rajan (Retd)

We were flying Gnats operating from Ambala.That morning we got airborne for a 2vs1 sortie, with G’Man in the lead, self as No2 and DDS as the attacker. Those days we had the privilege of having two Gnat and two Mystere Squadrons op from Ambala.On completion of the sortie, we pealed off for the landing, and I and DDS were in the Queue . That day G’Man had one tyre burst followed by the other and hence blocked the R/W30 some 2/3 way up and slap bang on the center of the R/W. I went around and we both Gnats orbitted for endurance as directed by the ATC. We also had two Mysteres-Hemu Khatu and VPSingh also orbitting Ambala. As the fuel state dropped to a low figure, we elected to divert to Chandigarh-the hitch, we did not have Chg R/T freq on board. We tried our Emer R/T but no joy, so we followed Hemu and VP to Chandigarh .Since my fuel state was 100lbs lower ,DDS let me be in the lead, and between ourselves we cleared each other on D/W and on Finals.Hemu landed safely on the right lane but VP had a tyre burst on the left lane, and hence came to a stop about 2000ft to go!! I had meanwhile rounded off for the landing and my fuel state did not allow any leeway (it was reading 50lbs or thereabouts) I stuck like a leech to the right lane, warned DDS to do the same and we taxied to 47 Sqn dispersal and switched off. We were surrounded by a host of officers and airmen who were heard shouting”Oye, Yeh Gnat walon ki Gaddi Hawa se chalti hai!!”The lessons learnt are too many but I leave it to you all who may have faced a similar situation!!

A hair-raising incident with Gnats

By Wg Cdr Prakash S Sanadi

3rd DECEMBER 1971

The IAF had called off Operation Cactus Lily in the Western Sector with the defeat and surrender of East Pakistan. No. 45 Sqn (MiGs) were ordered to pack up from Amritsar and move back to Chandigarh as the war in the East was over. A detachment of No 2 Squadron (Gnats), on ORP and Operational duties, also operating from Amritsar, was asked to wind up and return to Ambala.

Area of Interest - Ambala

Sandy (Flt Lt PS Sanadi) was in Ambala waiting to ferry a Gnat aircraft under engine change to Amritsar. He was instructed to report immediately to Amritsar by Wg Cdr JW Greene Commanding Officer of No 2 Squadron to help in the winding up of 2 Sqn detachment. Sandy was planning to leave Ambala by train the same evening when he got a call from Mrs Greene to say she would be accompanying him as the war scenario in the western sector was over and her visit to Amritsar was agreed to by her husband. Geeta, Sandy’s wife also decided to join in the joy ride to Amritsar. So the train journey was cancelled and Sandy decided to drive down to Amritsar in his Fiat car.

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