IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, earlier on Monday, flew a sortie in a MiG-21 fighter aircraft at the Pathankot Airbase. Vir Chakra Awardee Varthaman who shot down Pakistani fighter jet F-16 post-Balakot Air Strikes resumed flying operations after medical clearance on August 23. Abhinandan had flown Mig 21 Bison Fighter jet into Pakistan occupied Kashmir during Pakistani Counter-attack on India in response to Balakot Air-strike on February 27, later this year.
#WATCH IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa flew a sortie with Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman at Air Force Station Pathankot today in a MiG-21 trainer. It's the last sortie flown by IAF Chief in a fighter aircraft before retirement.They took off around 1130 hrs for a 30 min sortie. pic.twitter.com/retSoI3EVl
— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2019
Abhinandan ejected from Mig-21 which was shot down in an aerial conflict with Pakistani Fighter jet F-16. IAF Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa is also a Mig-21 pilot who had flown planes during the 1999 Kargil war while he was commanding the 17 Squadron. Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman together flew in the trainer version of the MiG-21 Type 69 fighter Aircraft.
This was also the last sortie of the IAF Chief in a combat aircraft. Meanwhile, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said, “It was a pleasure for me to fly with Abhinandan because he has got his flying category back, that is what all pilots look forward to. I also ejected in 1988, it took me 9 months to get my category back. He has been back in less than 6 months”. He also said, “Both of us have 2 things in common – 1st, both of us ejected and 2nd, both of us have fought Pakistanis. I fought in Kargil, he fought after Balakot. 3rd, I’ve flown with his father. It’s an honour for me to do my last sortie in IAF, in a fighter aircraft, with his son”.