IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman Starts Flying MiG 21

Varthaman returned to the fighter cockpit, after a period of almost six months. He had sustained injuries while ejecting from a fighter plane during an aerial combat between India and Pakistan on February 27.

IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman Starts Flying MiG 21
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. (File Photo | PTI)
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 21 Aug 2019 10:54 PM
New Delhi: Indian Air Force hero wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by the Pakistan Air Force during the Indo-Pak aerial tensions in the aftermath of Pulwama attack and was later released by the country under pressure of the Geneva Convention, was back to flying MiG 21 jet again after nearly six months.

Varthaman returned to the fighter cockpit, after a period of almost six months. He had sustained injuries while ejecting from a fighter plane during an aerial combat between India and Pakistan on February 27.


"He has started flying," said a top military official. At present, Varthaman is serving at an IAF base in Rajasthan.

The 36-year-old IAF pilot was captured by the Pakistani Army on February 27 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during an aerial combat, when the Pakistani jets tried to target military base in India. Varthaman managed to down an F-16 fighter jet of Pakistan, before his jet was hit. He was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan.

He had sustained injuries while ejecting from his MiG 21 Bison during the aerial combat and was taken off flying duties because of it.

Varthaman was conferred Vir Chakra, the coveted wartime gallantry medal, for downing the F-16 jet of Pakistan during the aerial combat. Vir Chakra is the third highest gallantry award after the Paramvir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra.

IAF's Bengaluru-based Institute of Aerospace Medicine has given the go-ahead to Varthaman to fly again following a thorough medical evaluation around three weeks back.

IAF fighter jets bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26, nearly two weeks after the Pulwama strike.

Pakistan retaliated on February 27 by attempting to target Indian military installations.

(with inputs from agencies)

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