Service No : 27484 F(P)
Place of birth : Delhi
Last Rank : Wing Commander
Arm/Regt : Indian Air Force
Martyrdom : February 15, 2018
Wing Commander Dushyant Vats hailed from Delhi and was born in the family of Shri KL Sharma and Smt Smt Pushpa Sharma. He had a strong desire to serve in the Armed forces right from his childhood and continued to follow his dream. Following his passion, eventually he got selected for the Indian Air Force. He went to the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad and got commissioned as a Flying Officer on 21 Jun 2003 as part of the 171st Pilots' Course. Having been inducted into the flying stream of the IAF, he got trained as a helicopter pilot. After completing his multi-stage flying training, he joined the operational squadron and thereafter served at various Air Force bases.
During 2017-18, Wg Cdr Vats was posted at 113 FAC unit based at Air Force Station Hindon. 131 FAC Flight, one of the firsts of its kind, in terms of role, was established in 1974 at air Force base, Pathankot under the command of then Sqn Ldr MS Sekhon VrC, SC, VM. The unit was established on the Bell-47G-3 and moved to Udhampur in Sep 75. The Unit's motto of 'Savage and Powerful' was related to its important role that of a FAC (Forward Air Control). By its accurate guidance to fighter aircraft on to the target the unit helicopters assisted in the destruction of the enemy's important assets. The unit also undertook various other air operations which included providing aid to civilian authorities in times of need. In June 1998, the unit moved to Air Force Station Hindon from Halwara air base. By 2018, he had put in around 15 years of service and had been promoted to the rank of Wing Commander. By that time Wg Cdr Dushyant Vats had evolved into a professionally competent helicopter pilot with wide experience in various air operations. He had been flying Chetak and Cheetah helicopters since 2004 and had accumulated substantial number of flying hours. In Feb 2018, Wg Cdr Vats was sent to the Air Force base at Jorhat in Assam for an operational task.
Microlight Aircraft crash: 15 Feb 2018
On 15 Feb 2018, Wing Cdr Dushyant Vats and Wg Cdr Jaipaul James based at Air Force station Jorhat in Assam were assigned an operational task. The pilots in their Virus SW-80 Microlight aircraft took off from the Air Force Station around 12:30 PM. Both of them were experienced helicopter pilots and had undertaken numerous operational missions in their service career. The assigned task was a routine task for them and did not demand any special skills on their part.
The aircraft after taking off had moved around 20 Km from the station when around 1 PM, the pilots experienced some technical problem in handling the flight. The technical snag soon turned serious, prompting the pilots to attempt an emergency landing. But the aircraft could not be controlled and crashed at Darbar Chapori, a sandbar in the Brahmaputra in the northern part of Majuli district of Assam. The aircraft went up in flames in which both the pilots were severely injured and later succumbed to their injuries. Wing commander Dushyant Vats was a committed soldier and an officer par excellence, who laid down his life in the service of the nation.
Wing Commander Vats is survived by his father Shri KL Sharma, mother Smt Pushpa Sharma, wife Major Kumud Dogra and a daughter.