The Indian Air Force is the air wing of the Indian forces and a very integral part of it. In 2014, an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter crashed in Sitapur, a district in Uttar Pradesh. The Indian army was on a mission to air-lift tourists from Uttarakhand flood hit area. But sadly, before they could reach their destination, the vehicle burst into flames.

The seven who died in the crash were Wing Commander T N B Singh, Squadron Leader R Manu, Sergeant D Panda, Junior Warrant Officer P Mukherjee, Corporal Manoj Yadav, Corporal R K Singh and leading aircraftsman Dumpa Laxmi Naidu. Despite developing a technical defect, the air warriors managed to steer the helicopter to an empty field, saving lives of the villagers.

It was a sad day for humanity. Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh honoured them and their extremely courageous family by presenting cheques of Rs. 20 lakhs each, to the dependents of the Air Force officials. “All countrymen have faith in our defence forces. I am thankful to the Air Force for their exemplary relief work in Nepal after the earthquake and in Uttrakhand which was hit by a natural calamity. We have decided to honour all servicemen (from UP) who were martyred. It is to pay respect to them,” the People’s CM said.

Akhilesh Yadav, to help the Indian Air Force, has given them permission to use the civilian air-strips. Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha also appreciated the state government’s efforts. “We are thankful to the state government for providing infrastructure facilities. Our plane can land at expressway and we are also using some civilian air-strips which has increased our capabilities,” Raha said.

We salute the Indian Air Force and the brave officers!