27 Jan 2014

President Confers Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) to Squadron Leader Vipin Takawale Flying (Pilot)

Squadron Leader Vipin Takawale Flying (Pilot) is Chetak/Cheeta type instructor and is posted in an operational helicopter unit since May 2012. 

On 21 Jun 13, the detachment was tasked to drop food packets in the Kedarnath valley. Sqn Ldr Takawale got airborne within minutes of getting SOS call and commenced his food dropping mission. 

While dropping relief material, he heard a distress call from a civil helicopter which had crashed and was on fire in the treacherous terrain of Jungle Chatti. 

Despite not being prepared for a casualty evacuation mission, the officer on receiving a SOS call displayed good leadership qualities and took a courageous decision to proceed to crash site. 

Though this was his first sortie in the area, he was quick to correlate the map and displayed exceptional navigations skills in locating the crash site within 10 minutes of the crash. 

He noticed that the crashed helicopter was at a site which posed many dangers like dense HT and LT cables, electrical poles, narrow valley, thick vegetation and absolutely no place to land.

 The inhospitable terrain coupled with adverse wind conditions left him with no margins for error. However, he remained undeterred and after a quick in-flight briefing decided to winch up the casualty. 

He did all this with extreme confidence and without compromising flight safety. This mission definitely enhanced IAF’s image as being ever ready to provide succour to the affected. 

For his exceptional courage, in the face of adverse conditions, and unparalleled dedication to duty, Squadron Leader Vipin Vilas Takawale is recommended for Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry). 

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