Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who famously shot down a Pakistan Air Force's F-16 fighter aircraft during a dogfight in February earlier this year, flew a joint sortie with IAF Chief BS Dhanoa on Monday. They flew a sortie at Air Force Station, Pathankot.
"#LeadingFromFront: Chief of the Air Staff ACM BS Dhanoa flew a sortie with Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman at Air Force Station Pathankot today in a MiG-21 trainer aircraft. This is the last sortie flown by the ACM BS Dhanoa in a fighter aircraft before his retirement," IAF said in its tweet. Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman also met ground crew and technicians after the MiG-21 sortie.
The sortie took place a day before the official induction of the Apache attack choppers in the Indian Air Force. The IAF Chief will induct the choppers which are being deployed in Pathankot airbase. Wing Commander Abhinandan had become a national hero after he played a big role in thwarting a Pakistani counter-attack on February 27, a day after IAF bombed the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad's camp in Pakistan's Balakot.
Abhinandan flying in his MiG-21Bison also shot down an F-16 of the PAF before being shot down by another Pakistani jet. Abhinandan was taken captive by the Pakistani Army. Pakistan returned the IAF pilot two days later after India exerted pressure through the international community for his release.
Recognising the gallantry and valour of Abhinandan in taking down the enemy aircraft and thwarting the larger attack, the government awarded him the wartime gallantry medal Vir Chakra. (ANI)
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