Air officials commemorate supreme sacrifice of former colleagues in 1977 air crash
Air Headquarters Communication Squadron organised a 17-day bicycle expedition to commemorate the sacrifice of air warriors of 1977 who laid their lives while saving then PM Morarji Desai and other dignitaries
New Delhi: To commemorate the sacrifice of air warriors in the TU-124 crash in 1977, Air Headquarters Communication Squadron has organised a bicycle expedition from the crash site at Jorhat in Assam to Palam in Delhi, symbolically retracing the path of the aircraft.
"On November 4, 1977, a TU-124 of Air Headquarters Communication Squadron, while flying from Delhi to Jorhat crashed near Jorhat. The dignitaries on board consisted of the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai, PK Thungon (then Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh), John Lobo (then IB Chief) and Kanti Lal Desai (Morarji Desai's son).
The entire delegation along with other passengers survived the accident with minor injuries. However, the flight crew, namely, Wing Commander Clarence J D'Lima, Wing Commander Joginder Singh, Squadron Leader VVSNM Sunkara, Squadron leader Mathew Cyriac and Flight Lieutenant OP Arora paid the supreme sacrifice while ensuring the safety of the passengers," read an official statement.
The cycling expedition team consists of 13 air warriors of Air Headquarters Communication Squadron. The team will cover a distance of 2500 km over a period of 17 days (January 27 till February 12), retracing the path of the aircraft from the crash site back to the Squadron.
The expedition was flagged off on Monday from the crash site - approximately 8 km from Air Force Station Jorhat - by Air Cmde MK Jha, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station Jorhat in the presence of RK Khirmey, who was a survivor of the crash, and Group Captain Saurav Shiv, the current Commanding Officer of the Squadron.
The cycling team is being led by Wing Commander Irfan Wahid Khan Jarial, a helicopter pilot with over 4500 hours of flying.