Monday, 25 January 2021
Flight Lieutenant Anand Singh is on the posted strength of a MiG-21 Bison Squadron operating from Srinagar at an altitude of 1680 meters. He is a Fully Ops pilot with 490 hrs of service flying and only 129 hrs solo on type.
Afterburner (Reheat) failure after take-off is one of the most critical emergencies on the single engine MiG 21 aircraft as it reduces the thrust available and results in a sudden loss of height close to the ground. The criticality of the emergency gets compounded manifold while operating from a highaltitude airfield such as Srinagar wherein the thrust available is 12% lower as compared to when operating from the plains.A safe recovery from this emergency requires razor sharp reactions, exceptional flying skill, and nerves of steel to fly the aircraft at low speeds at low levels.
On 13 May 2020, Flight Lieutenant Anand Singh was authorised to fly a PI sortie. After getting airborne, at a height of 30-40 m above ground level, he experienced an afterburner failure which resulted in a significant loss of power and loss of height. Maintaining his calm, Flight Lieutenant Anand Singh checked his engine parameters, identified the emergency and took correct recovery actions, while continuing to fly the aircraft meters above the ground at very low speeds. Inspite of being faced with a grave danger to his life and the safety of the aircraft, he skilfully manoeuvered the aircraft with the limited power available in a professional manner to fly it out of danger and recover it safely off a partial flaps landing. The prompt and professional manner in which he identified the emergency, took correct emergency actions and handled the aircraft in a professional manner keeping in with the highest traditions of the IAF inspite of his limited experience resulted in the saving of an aircraft. With his conspicuous bravery, the officer averted certain loss of an aircraft and civilian lives on ground.
For act of exceptional courage under exceptional hazard to his life, superlative situational awareness and extraordinary flying skill, Flight Lieutenant Anand Singh is awarded Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry).