Army ALH Dhruv Crash Landing Oct 24th, 2019: Some Early Lessons

It has been several hours after an Indian Army ALH Dhruv helicopter crash landed somewhere in the Poonch sector today

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International Air Traffic Controllers’ Day: My Tribute

Each year, Oct 20th is celebrated as International Air Traffic Controllers Day. Surprised? You should be. They are unsung heroes

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Tejas of Hope or Rafale from Grace?

The honourable Raksha Mantri of India Shri Rajnath Singh recently undertook a flight on the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’

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Automation on Helicopters: Lessons From Fatal Accidents

When highly automated helicopters are hand-flown into the ground by pressing the wrong buttons, it is time to review some

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How Dare You?

How dare you mock and attack 16 year old climate change activist Greta Thunberg? How dare you make light of

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Naval Helicopters – Challenges & Opportunities

It’s a couple of hours after the sun set into the ink-blue ocean. Ashore, people are returning home, cursing the

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LCA (Navy): Love at First Trap!

Recall the old proverb: ‘success has many fathers. Defeat is an orphan’. Nowhere does it ring as true as in

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Indian LUH Soars High

In a significant milestone, the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) developed by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) recently demonstrated its ‘hot

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That Bloody Kamov Guy!

There are few scenes that can match the aura of a helicopter coming in to land on a small deck

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Hugs & Rocket Science

In the dark moments of Sep 6-7, 2019, when earth went about its axis, millions of space enthusiasts from India

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Help is on the way, dear!

Recent initiatives by some world leaders reminded me of the closing scenes from Mrs Doubtfire. Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) does

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Wirestrike: A Clear & Present Danger

In the late 80s, a naval Chetak (Alouette III) operating on a patrol mission over Gulf of Mannar (Operation Tasha)

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Fire & Ice – Part II

Part II – The Homecoming “Of course Su, I was just thinking how lucky I am to have you with

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Jammu & Kashmir – When Geography Became History

For Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), history defined geography in 1947. On 5th Aug 2019, that geography became history. Going Back

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Navy to HAL – We Dare, You Survive

It’s one thing to accept a hard reality and move on with ‘we fight with what we have’ spirit, and

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Kargil Vijay Diwas – Five Questions for the Silent Service

20 Years to Kargil Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated every year on 26th July to commemorate India’s military victory on

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Rotary Wing Opportunities

Dear friends from the rotary wing community, Thanks to your continued patronage and readership, Kaypius has an international audience of

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A Simple Navigation Problem!

Once upon a time, we used to know the way around our cities and villages without tapping on a Gorilla

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My ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on Why BJP MP Balaknath’s Helicopter Spun Around!

What Happened On Sunday, 30th Jun 2019, a light helicopter (appears to be a single-engine Bell 407) carrying BJP Member

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Love & Jet Fuel!

In the summer of 1993, a group of young Sub Lieutenants from the Indian Navy arrived at IAF’s cradle of

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Airbus-PHL Sign MoU: Any Rainbow of Hope for Indian Helicopter Industry?

Airbus Helicopters and Indian helicopter major Pawan Hans Limited (PHL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 19th Jun 2019

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Rising From The Ashes

On 17th May 1985, a small Islander aircraft with two crew onboard was launched for a non-stop cross country (NSXC)

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AN-32 Crash of 3rd Jun 2019: Tombstone Imperatives

It’s a cruel irony hard to miss. A nation that sent its first man to space 35 years ago, now

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An-32 Crash 3rd June 19: Don’t Give Up Hope. Miracles Do Happen

It has been a week since an Indian Air Force An-32 aircraft with 13 crew onboard went missing after taking

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Naval Chief’s Clarion Call – Gangway Perfume or Cast in Steel?

Sometimes, organisational drift can become so large that basic virtues and unquestionable codes of conduct require a rude awakening all

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IAF An-32 Crash 03 June 2019: My First Thoughts

An Indian Air Force An-32 aircraft with 13 crew onboard went missing after taking off from Jorhat at about 12:27

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Naval Terminologies Decoded!

Long before WhatsApp, LMAO & ROFL were invented, naval personnel had a fulsome dictionary of acronyms. They were used for

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Nuts & Bolts of Leadership: Admiral RL Pereira’s Speech

Admiral Ronald Lynsdale Pereira PVSM AVSM (1923-1993) was the 10th Chief of the Naval Staff of Indian Navy (Mar 1979

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Balakot & Beyond – Our Bark Should Not Become Worse Than Our Bite

A media report indicates that IAF is in the process of finalising the Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the Mi-17V5

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AH-64E ‘Apache Indian’ Added to IAF Inventory – Who Are The Real ‘Guardians’?

Heralding another multi billion-dollar import of weaponry, the first of 22 AH-64E (I) Apache ‘Guardian’ attack helicopters was formally handed

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INS Viraat Controversy: Lessons For Our Armed Forces

INS Viraat, the aircraft carrier that weathered many storms and served India with distinction for over three decades finds itself

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Helicopter Rescue – The Golden Hour is Ticking Away

Consider this true-life scenario that played out at sea few years ago. The Situation A naval ship is proceeding to

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Service Before Self or Self Service?

“Sanj, can you grate half a coconut for me before you leave?” Any person who takes positions either side of

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Flying Leonardo’s AW139 – The Offshore Industry’s Workhorse

As a pilot flying for the offshore oil & gas industry in India, I am fortunate to actively fly two

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Indian Elections 2019: Ab ki baar, WhatsApp Sarkar!

If well-educated, middle-class folks with access to the ‘information superhighway’ could boil a bunch of coriander leaves, filter and drink

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The Alouette & Lama Must Go

[This story was originally written in 2016 after a fatal Cheetah crash that killed three officers. A press release of

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So You Wanna Be a Test Pilot?

“Yes. I don’t know what it takes, but I want to be one”, said the young aviator with stars in

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Bad Days for IAF: Who Should Take Responsibility?

When it rains, it pours. For the Indian Air Force (IAF), it’s been pouring misery for three months. In yet

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A Naval Chief Rises From The Eagle’s Eyrie

In a surprise announcement, the Government of India announced on 22nd Mar 19 that the next Chief of the Naval

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Grounding of Boeing 737 MAX: How Long Before DGCA Sets Standards Others Follow?

In a remarkable show of alacrity, Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) grounded the Boeing 737 MAX fleet after two

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Pulwama & Beyond: Don’t Mix Blood & Votes

If everyone is done with the chest thumping, sloganeering and points-scoring over recent military actions, I have some sobering thoughts

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Toba Toba Toba!

How would you like to be citizen of a country where the army holds such a vice grip on affairs

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Surya Kiran Crash at Aero India 2019 – Should The Show Go On?

What Happened? The IAF’s recent run of ill luck hit a new low today 19th February 2019 when two Hawk

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Rafale Row – All That Twitters is Not Gold

A report of CAG Audit into Capital Acquisition in Indian Air Force was tabled in the Parliament on 13th February

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When a Naval Aviator Flew the Mi-26 ‘Halo’

First four of the 15 CH47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters ordered by Indian Air Force arrived at Mundra port on

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Be Prepared

The story I am about to narrate harks back to the lessons we learnt as boys & girls scouts in

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Mirage 2000 Crash in Bengaluru 1st Feb 2019 – Sad Loss of a National Resource

What We Know An Indian Air Force (IAF) Mirage 2000 crashed during takeoff on 1st Feb 2019 at about 1030

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Ziplip Shiplip

Background I suspect that in the armed forces, as everywhere else, the old adage ‘knowledge is power’ is fast being

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HATSOFF – The One-Stop-Shop for Rotary Training in India

In a quiet, leafy lane running through India’s aerospace R&D hub at Bengaluru sits a state-of-art training facility called HATSOFF.

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Tail Rotor Troubles

I write this in the wake of two recent tragedies involving conventional rotorcraft where amateur footage of the helicopter spinning

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Nuts & Bolts of Leadership – The Paint & Varnish Story

How would you feel if at the age of eighteen you were given a shaving blade and made to strip

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Fire & Ice – Part 1

Travelling back to the hotel after a long-haul flight, Suhail gazed at the fleeting images of frosty Frankfurt in the

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Holy Cow or Utter Bull?

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated Mahatma Gandhi I was witness

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Navy Ball Stories

“Are you attending the Navy Nite?, my coursemate asked me yesterday. “What’s that? I only know Navy Ball”, i replied

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Nuts & Bolts of Leadership – The Ice Lolly Story

If the incident I am about to recount sounds like the obverse of Indian taxation system, please pardon me. The

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Fly the Plane – Which Plane?

Two air accidents in recent times have shaken the conscience of people around the world. First was the 27th Oct

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Aircrew Fatigue – An Indian Helicopter Pilot’s Perspective

Indian Case Study Case 1: On 19th Apr 2011, a Mi-172 operated by an Indian carrier crashed short of a

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Flight Testing in Indian Navy – Synergies for the Future

Introduction Ten years ago, I was flying a desk in Naval Headquarters called ‘Aviation Plans’. We had ambitious plans to

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Making Sense of the VT-AVH Incident

What happened? While cruising at FL410 (41000 feet or approx 12.5 kms above mean sea level), an autopilot mode tripped,

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Crucial Nod for Indian Navy’s Helicopter Programs

When it comes to procurement matters, Indian MoD is an unlikely paragon of efficiency, even on a weekday. Saturday, 25th

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Who Will Save The Saviours?

Kerala, ‘God’s Own Country’, and the land of my ancestors saw the worst floods in a century recently. Even as

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Love in the Age of Tinder

“I need to believe that something extraordinary is possible” Alicia Nash in ‘A Beautiful Mind’ A quarter century ago, I

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Welcome to Hare India!

“Welcome to Hare India. Please fasten your seatbelts. We’ll be taking off shortly for our rightful place in the world.

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How Sunny Leone ‘Exposed’ India’s Double Standards

Sunny Leone, former adult film star and now a successful Bollywood actor, was the most searched item on Google from

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Mobile Telephoney

In the great land of India, we add ‘Ji‘ as a suffix whenever we want to address someone or something

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Uff ye Dilli!

There are only two kinds of people in the Indian military that I know. Those who have served in Delhi

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How Times Have Changed!

“Papa, please have some patience. Can’t you see I am studying?”, my teenage son replied when I asked him if

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Oru Chaya, Oru Pazham Pori!

What’s with Keralites that makes them hang around tea shops? We walked into one in Palakkad to find out. Is

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King Air C90 Crash in Mumbai – A Grim Reminder

A small, 26-year old King Air C90 charter aircraft (VT-UPZ) undertaking a test flight crashed on 28 Jun 18 near

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Vipassana – A Year Later

Nobody walks into a Vipassana camp without reason. It is intensely lonely, decidedly tough, and if you survive those ten

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Checklist Bloopers

On 30 Oct 1935, Boeing’s Model 299 prototype took off for an evaluation flight by the US Army Air Corps

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A Perfect Storm is Brewing

The 2018 edition of annual, multilateral exercise ‘Malabar’ is presently underway off Guam in the Pacific Ocean. Ships, submarines, helicopters

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Rise & Triumph – Lessons for Make in India

Recently, I went bike-accessory shopping with my friend and fellow aviator Kinny. He is busy pouring money on an imported

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Smart Cards and Dumb Rules

Tired of being turned away by several CSD outlets in my vicinity and almost turning teetotaller, I finally capitulated, exercised

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The Untapped Potential of Helicopters in India

When I started my helicopter career in India, we were often put on hold to accommodate fixed wing traffic. “Orbit

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Cast in Steel

I am your good old flight deck – the naval aviator’s home away from home. Out there where the ship

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Seconds to Live…or Die

What Happened? Five people were killed when a private charter helicopter (Airbus AS350, Regn N35OLH) crashed into New York’s East

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Planning Your Last Flight

I put before you, two real-life examples that may whet your appetite for further reading of this gloomy topic. CASE

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HAL Offers Dhruv for Licence Production

On 16 Feb 2018, in a significant move indicative of the Indian government’s rising commitment to ‘Make in India’, state-run

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Scent of a Man

I love airports. Not because of airplanes or the joy of travel. That’s old hat. I’ve been flying for 25

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The Slapgate Controversy

On 01 Jan 18, passengers flying on a long haul Jet Airways flight 9W119 from London to Mumbai were witness

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It Could Happen to You

It’s always sad to read about air accidents involving loss of life or injuries; even more so when it is

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MiG 29K Crash at Goa – A Wake-up Call

“For want of a nail, the Kingdom was lost” Benjamin Franklin On 3rd Jan 2018, while the world was still

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Butter Chicken & Lounge Suits

It’s that time of the year again. The holidays are upon us and 2018 is just round the corner. And

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A Naval Aviator Remembers the Mi-8

On 17th December 2017, an old faithful workhorse of the Indian Air Force, the Mi-8 ‘Pratap’ helicopter (NATO code Hip)

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Lessons From A Daring Night Rescue

What Happened? On 1st Dec 2017, just three days shy of ‘Navy Day’ celebrated to commemorate Indian Navy’s audacious attack

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Run Silent, Run Deep

It has been over 12 days (11:36 GMT, 15th November) since contact was lost with Argentinian Submarine ARA San Juan.

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Who Killed Ashok Khale?

On 5th November 2017, Ashok Khale, a champion cyclist and mentor for many on the Indian cycling circuit was knocked

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Is the Pen (drive) Mightier than the Sword?

If you have served in the armed forces, chances are you would have come across an acronym called PCK. No,

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