Place of Birth: Pune, MH

Service: Air Force

Last Rank: Flight Lieutenant

Unit: 33 Sqn AF

Date Of Martyrdom : Jul 22, 2016

Flt Lt Kunal Barpatte

Flight Lieutenant Kunal Barpatte awas born in Nigadi in Pimpri-Chinchwad, District of Pune, Maharashtra. Son of Shri Rajendra Barpatte , a retired scientist from Central Institute of Road Transport and Smt Vidya Barpatte, Flt Lt Barpatte had a brother Satyendra who was pursuing his higher studies at Kapfenberg in Austria when Kunal was serving in IAF.


Flt Lt Barpatte studied from Fergusson College at Pune and completed his BSc in Electronics. Flt Lt Barpatte was always fascinated by Air Force life and wanted to be an Air Warrior since his childhood. He cleared Combined Defence Services Exam and went on to join the Air Force Academy, Dundigul . He was trained to be a navigator in the Air Force and served with various transport aircraft squadrons. Flt Lt Barpatte served in Air Force base at Jorhat in Assam and then in Sulur Air Force base near Coimbatore.


IAF AN-32 Aircraft Accident : 22 July 2016


On 22 July 2016, AN-32 aircraft belonging to 33 Squadron was tasked to carry men and material from Chennai to the Air Force station at Port Blair. Flight Lieutenant Kunal Barpatte was Flight Navigator in that sorie. The aircraft, an upgraded AN-32 took off from Tambaram Air Force Station in Chennai at 8.30 am, and was expected to land at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands at 11.30 am.  The aircraft had 29 people on board including six crew members besides the material load.


However, the aircraft lost contact with the ground radar when it was 151 nautical miles east of Chennai. The aircraft had taken a left turn with rapid loss of height from 23,000 feet. The disappearance of the Russian-made AN-32 twin engine turboprop transport aircraft kicked off India’s biggest search operation yet for a missing plane on the sea. 


Despite massive search operation by the Navy, Indian Air Force, and Coast Guard the aircraft and the passengers on board could not be traced. Indian Navy and Coast Guard ships were deployed for scanning the surface of the sea as part of the search operations after the aircraft went off radar. Also, data from Indian satellites was scanned to locate the missing aircraft. The aircraft was not fitted with an underwater locator beacon, which made the search operations even more difficult.


Consequently in September, all the 29 people on board the AN-32 plane were declared “presumed dead”. Flight Lieutenant Kunal Barpatte was a dedicated soldier with deep desire to serve the nation, however his life was cut short and and a committed soldier was lost in the line of duty.


Flight Lieutenant Kunal Barpatte is survived by his parents Rajendra Barpatte and Vidya Barpatte and his brother Satyendra.


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3 Tributes
  • Anika Awasti - Bilaspur,Himachal Pradesh

    2017 at 1:59 pm Reply

    We shall forever remain indebted to you for your service to the nation. Jai Hind

  • Yeshwanth kumar - Chennai,Tamil Nadu

    2017 at 7:40 pm Reply

    Always be remembered sir…jab b veer aur veergati mishal diyenge har samai aapka naam liya jayega barpat sir

  • Kavita Kamtikar - Aurangabad,Maharashtra

    2017 at 10:36 pm Reply

    Salute to you, dear brother. Jai Hind!

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