Thursday, August 16, 2012

IAF's Flt Lt Kharche : Shaurya Chakra

Flt Lt Kharche by Chindits
Flt Lt Kharche, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
On 06 Feb 12, Flt Lt GR Kharche was detailed to fly as captain for a low-level navigation sortie on an An-32 aircraft. While effecting the rejoin, when the undercarriage was lowered, the starboard and nose undercarriage was locked down. Even emergency means of lowering the port undercarriage failed to yield any results. Inspite of his limited experience as captain on type, Flt Lt GR Kharche maintained his composure in this grave emergency and decided to carry out an emergency landing on starboard main wheel and nose wheel. While landing in such configuration likelihood of a dangerous situation of aircraft getting out of control is very high. He assessed the situation and ensured that the entire available crew resources were marshaled in the most professional way to handle the emergency. Landing an An-32 aircraft without one of the main wheel is an extremely rare emergency.

Flt Lt GR Kharche carried out a safe emergency landing with only starboard main wheel and nose wheel. The aircraft landing was controlled in the most courageous way and the aircraft suffered minimal damage. After landing, the action to evacuate the personnel on board were carried out most efficiently under his supervision,

Flt Lt GR Kharche displayed qualities of exceptional courage and extreme professionalism during handling of such a grave emergency inspite of limited experience. His actions not only saved the lives of personnel onboard but also recovered the aircraft with minimal damage.

For the display of exemplary courage and composure in handling an extremely rare emergency, Flight Lieutenant Gunadnya Ramesh Kharche has been awarded Shaurya Chakra.


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