We both fought Pakistanis and we both ejected : IAF Chief does sortie with Abhinandan


Pathankot (Punjab): IAF Chief B S Dhanoa who flew his last sortie with Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Monday, drew parallels with him saying both of them had fought Pakistanis and had ejected.

“Both of us got ejected and both of us fought Pakistanis. I fought Kargil war and he fought Balakot. I have flown with his father,. We were together in MiG-21 squadron,” said Dhanoa after his last sortie from the air base here.

Dhanoa and Abhinandan on Monday flew a sortie in a MiG-21 Type 69 fighter Aircraft.

“It is a part joy for me to come and fly with 26 squadron which is the last squadron of the legacy MiG-21 aircraft. It was also a pleasure for me to fly with Abhinandan because he got his flying category back which all pilots look forward to,” said Dhanoa.

“I also got ejected in 1988 and took me 9 months to get my category back but he is back in less than 6 months. So it’s very good for him. At present he is trainer captain and got all his qualification back,” said Dhanoa.

“It’s an honour for me to do my last sortie with his son,” he added.

Vir Chakra awardee Varthaman, who shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet post-Balakot operations, had resumed flying operations on August 23 after medical clearance.

During Pakistani counter-attack on India on February 27 in response to Balakot airstrikes, Abhinandan had flown a MiG 21 Bison fighter into Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Abhinandan had been grounded due to ejection from his MiG-21 which had been shot down in aerial conflict with Pakistan Air Force F-16s.

Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief, Dhanoa is also a MiG-21 pilot and had flown the planes during the 1999 Kargil war while commanding the 17 Squadron, during the war. (ANI)