Service No : 930820-B
Last Rank : Sergeant
Unit : 157 HU AF
Arm/Regt : Indian Air Force
Operation : CI & IS Ops
Martyrdom : October 6, 2017
Sergeant Satish Kumar hailed from Kasni in Rajasthan. He was enrolled into the Indian Airforce in Sep 2007 and worked in various Air Force bases operating diverse aircraft and other associated systems during his service of ten years. During 2017, Sgt Satish Kumar was serving with a helicopter unit based under Eastern Air Command of the IAF. Sgt Satish Kumar’s unit was operating MI-17 transport helicopter, extensively used for air transport and logistics operations.
Air Maintenance Operation: 06 Oct 2017
During October 2017, Sgt Satish Kumar was serving with 157 HU AF unit, equipped with Mi-17 V5 Helicopter and was based at Air Force Station Barrackpore in West Bengal. At that time a number of Indian army units were deployed at many far-flung areas in the northeast sector were no motorable roads existed. The most of the supplies to these units were dependent on airdrops, undertaken by Indian Air Force as Air Maintenance operations. Sgt Satish Kumar was tasked for one such air maintenance mission as flight gunner of the aircraft on 6th October 2017. Besides Sgt Satish Kumar, the other aircrew members included, Wg Cdr Vikas Upadhyay and Squadron Leader Shishir Tewari as pilots, MWO A K Singh as the other flight gunner and Sergeant Satish Kumar as the flight engineer. In addition to the aircrew, two Army personnel, Sepoy H N Deka and Sepoy E Balaji were also detailed to be part of the air maintenance mission.
Wg Cdr Vikas Upadhyay and Sqn Ldr Shishir Tewari along with Sgt Satish Kumar and two other aircrews in their Mi-17 V5 helicopter took off from Khirmu helipad in Tawang district on 06 Oct 2017. The flight path of the sortie was vulnerable to dangerous weather changes, but Wg Cdr Vikas Upadhyay and Sqn Ldr Shishir Tewari were experienced pilots and had handled many such situations earlier. As the aircraft was on Air maintenance sortie, it was carrying supplies to the forward posts in Topokhar near the Yangste area. This was the second air maintenance sortie of the day for the aircraft in that forward area. At around 6 AM , as the supplies were being dropped in the dropping zone about 120 kms north of Tawang, the net holding the jerry cans of kerosene being offloaded got entangled in the aircraft’s rear rotor. As a result, the chopper caught fire instantly and crashed, giving no chance to the pilots to take any action. Sgt Satish Kumar and all other 6 on-board military personnel including Wg Cdr Vikas Upadhyay, Sqn Ldr Shishir Tewari, MWO A K Singh, Sgt Gautam Kumar, Sep H N Deka and Sep E Balaji, could not survive the crash.