Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa flew his last MiG-21 sortie with Wing Commander Varthaman who garnered immense praise after his post-Balakot dogfight
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on September 2 flew a sortie along with Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa in a two-seater MiG-21 fighter aircraft. The two took off in the MiG-21 trainer from the Pathankot air base and flew for 30 minutes. Abhinandan was awarded Vir Chakra by the government for his actions post the balakot strike in February this year. Dhanoa has also commanded a squadron of frontline ground attack fighters during Kargil war in 1999.
Dhanoa has also served in a MiG-21 squadron with the Wing Commander Abhinandan’s father, who was an Air Marshal with the Indian Air Force. This was Dhanoa’s last MiG-21 sortie with Wing Commander Varthaman. The Air Chief Marshal too had ejected and survived the MiG-21 incident in the past, and went to war on MiG-21s with Pakistan.
“This is my last sortie on a fighter jet. Both of us have two things in common – first, both of us ejected and second, both of us have fought Pakistanis. I fought in Kargil, he fought after Balakot. And third, I’ve flown with his father. It’s an honour for me to do my last sortie in the IAF, in a fighter aircraft, with his son,” the Air Chief Marshal told a news agency.
Wing Commander Varthaman climbed on to the instructor’s seat while the Air Chief Marshal was seen occupying the front seat of the trainer jet.