Wing Commander Ajit Bhaskar Vasane
As the Indian Air Force displayed its might during the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi on Sunday, Wing Commander Ajit Bhaskar Vasane, a Shaurya Chakra awardee fighter pilot whose family is from Pune, was one of the pilots in the flypast of five MiG-29 UPG aircraft.
A graduate of the 103rd course of the National Defence Academy, Wing Commander Vasane was commissioned in the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in 2003. He has completed his education from Jnana Prabodhini Prashala in Pune and Services Preparatory Institute in Aurangabad. Wing Commander Vasane is married and has a son.
“It is a proud moment for the family. Getting the honour of flying during the prestigious event was an indescribable feeling for him. Our blessings and wishes will be always with him,” said his father Bhaskar Vasane, who retired as a bank manager.
Vasane was awarded with Shaurya Chakra in 2012 for safely conducting the emergency landing of a MiG-29 aircraft in October 2011 when the plane caught fire during a Supersonic Practice Intercept mission.
The citation of the award read, “...with exceptional presence of mind and courage of highest order, he elected to avoid flying over various petro-chemical installations in vicinity of the airfield, even though this prolonged flight endangered his personal life.”
The citation added, “Pilot’s actions in handling such an unforeseen critical emergency, which neither is documented nor has ever occurred before in a MiG-29, not only saved him and the aircraft, but also prevented possible catastrophic damage to ... vital petro-chemical installations in the area, which are a national assets.”