Flight Lieutenant Amit Sharma hailed from Hapur in Uttar Pardesh. After completing his basic schooling he joined the Air Force on 15 Dec 2001. During 2006-07, Flt Lt Amit Sharma was serving with 114 HU unit based at Air Force Station Leh. The unit was operating Cheetah helicopter, which was a single engine small helicopter used for ferrying of personnel and logistics support to far flung areas.
Air Support Operation : 11 Apr 2007
One of the main roles of 114 Helicopter Unit based at Air Force Station Leh, was to provide logistic support to the troops deployed in remote and inaccessible areas of J & K including Siachen glacier. On 11 Apr 07, Flt Lt Amit Sharma was detailed for an air logistics support sortie to Amar helipad located on the Siachen Glacier as the leader in a two aircraft formation. The Siachen Glacier is the highest battlefield in the world and flying over this vast frozen ice mass demands flying skills of very high order. The margin for error in this environment, while flying the single engine Cheetah aircraft, was practically non-existent.
Flt Lt Amit Sharma along with his captain Sqn Ldr Shantanu Basu took off from the Air Force base as planned and reached the post with in the stipulated time frame. The sortie was uneventful till the final approach. However as the tail winds were significant , an overshoot had to be initiated on the short finals. The helicopter experienced a sudden loss of power and height after crossing the helipad. Flt Lt Amit Sharma maintained his cool in this unusual emergency and handled the situation in a competent manner, displaying a high degree of professionalism. He kept a close check on the engine parameters and initially tried to recover the aircraft by reducing the power demand smoothly.
Unfortunately, the aircraft failed to respond to the emergency actions by the air crew and continued to lose height. Flt Lt Amit Sharma and Sqn Ldr Basu therefore took the highly courageous decision of attempting to force land across the AGPL(Actual Ground Position Line). However, due to the absence of a suitable force landing field in the harsh, snow bound and sloping terrain, the helicopter crashed. The aircraft crashed about 300 meters ahead of Amar Helipad, in direct line of sight of the Pakistani post. Sqn Ldr Basu and Flt Lt Amit Sharma could not survive the crash and laid down their lives in the service of the nation.
Flt Lt Amit Sharma , like a true air warrior, displayed exceptional courage and gallantry beyond the call of duty, keeping in line with the best traditions of the IAF. He was given the award “Vayu Sena Medal” for his act of courage, devotion to duty and professional competence of a very high order.