By Air Commodore Tapas Sen (Retd)
I had joined the Panthers in November 1963 as a Flight Commander and had needed just twenty eight days to be declared operational on Gnats. Therefore, my story today must have been set on a cold Sunday morning early in December 1963. I do not have my logbook handy at this moment so I cannot quote the exact date. Tradition demanded that I get rostered for a holiday stint at the ORP (Operational Readiness Platform) as soon I get declared operational on type. I claimed no exception for myself; I found myself on the ORP on that Sunday. By chance, the other pilot on duty was the other new flight commander, Reggie Upot. We were no strangers to each other. He was my instructor when I was a pupil in the Flying Instructors’ school, and he was my CO when he was commanding the FIS and I was his Chief Ground Instructor. He was now my senior colleague.
Continue reading Gnat Scramble: A Lucky Escape Once – A Disaster Decades Later