Place of Birth : Thrissur dist (Kerala)
Service: Air Force
Last Rank : Squadron leader
Unit : 43 Sqn AF
Date of Martyrdom : 03 Jun 2019
Squadron leader Vinod H hailed from Mulankunnathukavu city of Thrissur district in Kerala. Son of Shri Hariharan and Smt Thangamani, Sqn Ldr Vinod completed his engineering degree from Kumaraguru College of Technology Coimbatore and passed out in the year-2009. Later he got selected to join the Indian Air Force as a flying crew. He joined the IAF in 2011 and got trained to undertake Navigational duties as part of transport air-crew.
AN-32 Crash (Indo-China Border): 3rd Jun 2019
During Jun 2019, Sqn Ldr Vinod was serving with 43 Sqn AF based in Air Force station Jorhat in Assam. The Sqn was operating AN-32 twin-engine turboprop transport aircraft and was undertaking various air operations including the critical logistic support operations for the army troops deployed in far-flung and inaccessible areas of the North-East. On 3rd Jun 2019, Sqn Ldr Vinod along with his 7 other crew members was tasked for an air support operation. The crew members of the aircraft included Wg Cdr G M Charles, Flt Lt Mohit Garg, Flt Lt Sumit Mohanty, Flt Lt Ashish Tanwar & Flt Lt Rajesh Thapa, Warrant Officer KK Mishra and Sergeant Anoop Kumar S. As per the assigned task, the aircraft was to take off from Jorhat IAF base and land at Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh.
Flying in the area with a stretch of deep valleys and high mountains demanded a very high level of flying skills and Wg Cdr G M Charles had the requisite experience and professional expertise to undertake various air operations in the area. As planned the aircraft with 8 crew members and 5 passengers took off from Jorhat at 12:27 pm and lost contact with ground control at 1 pm about 33 minutes after takeoff. The aircraft eventually crashed and the wreckage of the aircraft was found near Pari hills close to Gatte village, 16 km north of Lipo in Arunachal Pradesh, at an elevation of 12,000 feet. The wreckage was recovered 8 days after the crash following a massive rescue operation launched by the security forces. Besides the employment of the Indian Army, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the state police forces, IAF deployed a fleet of Sukhoi-30, C-130J, AN-32 aircraft, MI-17 and ALH helicopters for the rescue operation. Unfortunately Sqn Ldr Vinod and all other crew members could not survive the crash and were martyred. Sqn Ldr Vinod was a dedicated soldier and a committed air warrior who laid down his life in the line of his duty.
Sqn Ldr Vinod is survived by his father Shri Hariharan, mother Smt Thangamani and wife Smt Rukmani Vinod.
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