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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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An Airport Down Under

A small, almost obscure road leads off SV Road near Nanavati Hospital, Vile Parle (West) to an aerodrome in Mumbai.

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An Instructor’s Message to his Pupil (by Brian Thomas)

Welcome to the wonderful world of aviation. For the next few months, you and I are going to share a

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Don’t Wait Until Dark

During 2003-2010, the United States oil and gas (O&G) exploration industry had a collective fatality rate that was seven times

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Rotor Transition Program – Cross-pollinating the Talent Pool

It takes a couple of years to make a pilot and close to a decade to make him a Captain

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Managing the Magenta

“Heading and ALT Acquire please” This callout from the pilot signals the transition to an autonomous flight director mode within

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India’s MRH Saga – A Blue Water Navy without Multirole Helicopters

Introduction The Indian Navy has been looking for a replacement for its ageing Seaking helicopters for many years now. Seaking

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Engine Failure on Helicopters

Recently, I launched a paper aeroplane  from the edge of a cliff to the delight of my son. As we

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Members only please!

Many years ago, two young naval officers were marched up to a Commanding Officer because they did not follow service

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Fly-by-Ire

Social media was recently abuzz with two bizarre incidents involving airlines. In one instance a sitting Member of the Indian

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HEMS in India – Are we killing the golden goose?

“A product is not a product unless it sells. Otherwise it is merely a museum piece” Theodore Levitt Aviators Air

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Helicopter Launch and Recovery Methodologies – Offshore versus Navy

Ignorance is Bliss? As a young helicopter pilot in the navy many years ago, terms like Performance Class 1, Category

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Aero India – a different perspective

The 11th edition of Asia’s biggest air show ‘Aero India’, will draw to a close tomorrow 18 Feb 17. As

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Wheel versus Skids – Who wins?

While hover taxying on the Bell 412 during a particularly rainy day, we suddenly got caught in a heavy monsoon downpour and

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To share is to care?

Indian tennis star Leander Paes recently put an end to speculations by turning up at the 2016 Rio Olympics Village,

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Slop Chit Syndrome

Slop chits are so handy. I for one can’t do without them. This serendipitous discovery by American company 3M, is

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OMG! Not today!!

As a helicopter pilot, one is used to juggling numerous variables while operating with ships. Apart from the usual weight,

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Sleepless in Washington!

Procedures in airports and airlines have become so tiresome post 9/11 as to induce fatigue even before embarking on a

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Beatup Sheetup

Every pilot crosses those ‘log book milestones’ when you feel that extra ounce of confidence and panache in your flying skills. This

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