Service No : 24959 F(P)
Place of birth : Mahoba Dist, (UP)
Last Rank : Flt Lt
Unit : 5 Sqn AF
Arm/Regt : Indian Air Force
Martyrdom : April 2, 2004
Flt Lt Mayank Mayur hailed from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and was born in the year 1976. Son of Shri VP Tiwari and Smt Poornima Devi, Flt Lt Mayank had a younger sister Manjari as his sibling. He completed his initial education from Gyansthali School in Mahoba district of Uttar Pradesh. He then went on to join Sainik School, Lucknow, where the foundation of his future military carrier was laid. He wanted to become a pilot in the Air Force and continued to follow his dream. Eventually he got selected to join the prestigious NDA after his schooling.
He got selected for the Indian Air Force and was commissioned into the IAF on 20 Dec 1997 at the age of 21 years. He got trained as a fighter pilot and passed out as part of 160th Pilots' Course. Soon Flt Lt Mayank Mayur gained expertise in various air operations and took part in many operational exercises. By the year 2004, Flt Lt Mayank Mayur had put in over 7 years of service and developed into a dedicated and professionally competent air warrior.
Sonmarg Air Crash: 2nd Apr 2004
During 2004, Flt Lt Mayank Mayur was serving with a Jaguar fighter squadron based at Air Force base Ambala. On 02 Apr 2004, Flt Lt Mayank Mayur and Flt Lt Gagan Oberoi were tasked for a valley flying training mission in a 4 aircraft formation. The formation of 4 aircraft took off from the Ambala Air Force base as planned and commenced flying manoevres as per the flight plan. However, soon they lost contact with the ground control at Ambala as well as Air Force bases at Srinagar and Avantipur. While two Jaguars returned to the base, the remaining piloted by Flt Lt Mayank Mayur, and Flt Lt Gagan Oberoi went missing. The two aircraft lost contact with the ground control while flying between Gund and Sonmarg area.
Based on the intended flight path and the last known coordinates, the possibility of missing warplanes straying into the Pakistani side was ruled out. The preliminary inquiry indicated that sudden deterioration in weather could have been responsible for the accident involving two Jaguar aircraft. The massive search and rescue operation launched by the IAF, Army, and local police had to be called off due to the failing light and bad weather, which also prevented the use of helicopters in the rescue operations. Later, the teams continued the salvage operations in the area to locate the pilots and flight data recorder of the aircraft to ascertain the cause of the crash.
Finally, the warplanes’ wreckage and the body of Flt Lt Gagan Oberoi were found in inhospitable mountainous terrain at an altitude of 4,000 meters about 60 km away from Srinagar. The body of Flt Lt Mayank Mayur was recovered the next day about 4 km away from the wreckage of the first aircraft. The flight data recorder of one of the jets was also found. Both the pilots were found in their flying seats which indicated that they did not get the time to eject. Flt Lt Mayank Mayur was a dedicated soldier and a committed air warrior who laid down his life at the age of 28 years in the service of the nation following the highest traditions of the IAF.
Flt Lt Mayank Mayur is survived by his father Shri VP Tiwari, mother Smt Poornima Devi and younger sister Manjari.