Incidentally, like Abhinandan, IAF Chief BS Dhanoa is a MiG 21 pilot too. He had flown the planes during the 1999 Kargil war while commanding the 17 Squadron, during the war.
New Delhi| Almost six months after the aerial dogfight with Pakistani F-16, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is back in his fighter plane MiG 21. However, this time he was not alone. He was accompanied by Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa. Both air force pilots flew in the trainer version of the MiG-21 type 69 fighter Aircraft, earlier today. This was also the last sortie of the IAF Chief in a combat aircraft.
Abhinandan Varthaman cleared all the tests for flying after a detailed medical check-up. The sortie took off from Pathankot airbase in Punjab. Incidentally, like Abhinandan, IAF Chief BS Dhanoa is a MiG 21 pilot too. He had flown the planes during the 1999 Kargil war while commanding the 17 Squadron, during the war.
After the Pulwama Attack on February 14, in which 40 CRPF soldiers lost their lives, India conducted the Balakot airstrike on February 26 destroying the JeM terrorist camps. Following the airstrike, there was a retaliation by Pakistan’s side. The very next day, on February 27, there was an aerial dogfight between India’s MiG 21 flown by Abhinandan and Pakistan’s F16. The IAF pilot shot down the F16 before he ejected from the plane and fell on the other side of the LOC. He was held captive by Pakistan for a brief period but was returned almost 60 hours later.
He was awarded Vir Chakra by the President Ramnath Kovind on the eve of Independence Day this year.