Service No : SS44113H
Place of birth : Hyderabad(T'gana)
Service : Army
Last Rank : Major
Unit : 202 Army Avn Sqn
Arm/Regt : Army Aviation Corps
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Awards : Sena Medal
Martyrdom : February 11, 2015
Major Tahir Hussain Khan hailed from Suraram village in Ranga Reddy district of Telangana, and was born into the family of Smt Afzar Begum and Shri Sarvar Hussain Khan. He had two brothers Mahmood and Mazhar as his siblings, who too joined the armed forces. His younger brother Mahmood joined the IAF while his elder brother Mazhar joined the Indian Army. Of the seven sons in Major Khan’s generation, six were serving either in the Army or the Air Force, truly a proud family of military personnel. Brought up in a family of military personnel, Major Khan had a passion to serve in the Armed Forces, right from his younger days. He finished his schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Hyderabad and later graduated from AV College in Hyderabad.
Initially in the year 2002, he joined the Indian Air Force as an airman in the technical trade. Later he made his way up through the Army Cadet College (ACC) of the Officers Training Academy (OTA), where personnel from other ranks of the three services can become commissioned officers in the Indian Army. He was commissioned into 4 Gorkha Rifles, an infantry Regiment well known for its gallant soldiers. During his tenure with the infantry unit, he performed well along the LoC spending most of his time with the soldiers in the forwarding posts. After serving for few years with his parent Regiment, he got selected for the Army Aviation Corps and got trained as a helicopter pilot. Finally, in 2010, he received the revered pilot’s wings in Army Aviation.
Army Air Operation: 11 Feb 2015
During 2015, Maj Tahir Hussain Khan was serving with 202 Army Aviation Squadron based at Dras in J&K. The squadron under the command of Col Sunil Kumar Das was operating Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv. The Squadron was using the ALH as a versatile, multi-role, multi-purpose machine undertaking various operational tasks on a regular basis. Following the tragic floods in Jammu and Kashmir in September 2014, the Northern Command of the Army launched a humanitarian assistance mission to provide relief and rescue operations. Maj Tahir Hussain Khan and his unit took part in these operations and carried out many successful missions. Besides the casualty evacuation and relief operations, the 202 Army Aviation Squadron was providing various types of tactical and logistic support to counter-insurgency operations by the Army. Maj Tahir Hussain Khan was tasked for one such operation on 11 Feb 2015.
It was a two-aircraft mission with one ALH being captained by Lt Col Rajesh Gulati with Maj Tahir Hussain Khan as his co-pilot. It was a night mission and entailed the usage of NVGs(Night Vision Goggles) with dependence on aircraft instruments to navigate through obstructions. The terrain along the route was hazardous with steep Safapura Ridgeline on the east. As per the operational plan, Maj Tahir Hussain Khan and Lt Col Rajesh Gulati took off for the mission from Manasbal at 7:30 pm. The flight was uneventful in the initial phase, however after flying for around 40 minutes, when they were flying close to Safapura Ridge, the aircraft came dangerously close to the central hill. Lt Col Rajesh Gulati took over the control and using his flying skills managed to maneuver the aircraft away from the hill. However while doing so, the helicopter collided with a spur jutting out from the hill. The helicopter soon got engulfed into a massive ball of fire and crashed Maj Tahir Hussain Khan and Lt Col Rajesh Gulati could not survive the crash and succumbed to their injuries. Maj Tahir Hussain Khan was a committed soldier and professionally competent pilot, who laid down his life in the line of his duty.
Maj Tahir Hussain Khan was given the gallantry award, “Sena Medal” for his commendable courage, leadership and supreme sacrifice. Maj Tahir Hussain Khan is survived by his father Shri Sarvar Hussain Khan, mother Smt Afzar Begum and two brothers Mahmood Khan & Mazhar Khan.