FLIGHT LIEUTENANT BIKRAM DEV SINGH (13573) F(P)
On the 24th June, 1982, information was received about 19 Army personnel having been stranded near INDRAJOT PASS north of DHARAMSALA. A rescue aircraft was launched and it was found that the personnel were on a rock at a height of 14500 ft. AMSL and on the mountainside with a gradient of 75. The Personnel were surrounded by about 10 feet of fresh snow. It was appreciated that no landing could be attempted and that winching operations will be required to rescue the personnel.
Food, medicine and blankets were dropped at the site and the aircraft returned to base late in the evening. On the 25th June, 1982, Flight Lieutenant Bikram Dev Singh, Flying (pilot), was detailed to commence rescue operations in Cheetah aircraft fitted with rescue hoist. He reached the site at 0900 hours. The weather at that time was fair but the wind speeds were of the order of about 40 knots. After a through recce the aircraft was brought to hover about 15 ft. above the stranded personnel.Because of the very steep incline and location of the personnel, the aircraft had to be hovered leaving very small margin between the rotor and cliff side. Hovering under such conditions of high altitude, strong winds and very difficult terrain, is a nightmarish task requiring exceptional skill. The helper war lowered at the site and two army personnel were hoisted up and taken to YOL. On returning to the site, it was found that the weather had sharply deteriorated. Clouds had riled in over the area, the visibility had dropped to 100 meters and the wind speed had picked up to about 50 to 55 knots. In spite of this, Flt Lt Bikram Dev Singh continued the rescue operations with cool professionalism and in two more trips evacuated in all six personnel had been brought to YOL.Flight Lieutenant Bikram Dev Singh thus displayed courage, a high degree of professional skill, competence and devotion to duty of an exceptional order.
Narrated By Gurleen Khokhar (Daughter of Flt Lt Bikram Dev Singh) | www.standforindia.com