Service No : 29875 F(P)
Date of Birth : July 17, 1986
Place of birth : Ghaziabad,, (UP)
Last Rank : Squadron Leader
Arm/Regt : Indian Air Force
Martyrdom : February 1, 2019
Squadron Leader Samir Abrol, born on 17 July 1986 hailed from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. Son of Shri Sanjeev Abrol and Smt Sushma Abrol, Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol came from a business family, but he had a dream to join the armed forces right from his childhood. After completing his schooling from Ryan International School Ghaziabad, he pursued his dream and joined the prestigious NDA. He got selected for the IAF in the flying branch and was commissioned into the Indian Air Force in the fighter stream on 21 June 2008. Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol was a trained fighter pilot of the IAF having more than 3500 hours of flying to his credit. He had the experience of flying several aircraft such as Sukhoi-30, Tejas, Hawks, and Jaguars, but the Mirage 2000 was special to him. Before being posted to the Bangalore-based elite Air Force unit, Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE), he had served in various front-line Air Force bases operating different types of fighter aircraft.
After gaining expertise in flying various types of fighter aircraft Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol got selected as a test pilot and was posted to the IAF’s premier Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE). The ASTE is one of the few institutions in the world which evaluates aircraft and systems for induction into user organization(IAF) and has on its strength the pilots, who have the best flying skills and are capable of flying high-risk certification missions. Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol was one such pilot serving with the ASTE and was engaged in carrying out various acceptance trial sorties for aircraft produced/upgraded by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL).
Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol was a voracious reader and an avid biker too. A member of the Indian Bull Riders Motorcycle Club of Bangalore, Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol, was a fitness enthusiast and loved cycling and physical exercises. Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol got married to Ms. Garima, a physiotherapist and a fitness instructor from Punjab in May 2015.
Mirage 2000 Aircraft Crash: 01 Feb 2019
During 2018-19, Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol was serving with ASTE as a test pilot and was conducting certification missions on a regular basis. The missions were essentially undertaken to check the functioning of the systems/sub-systems for their conformity to the standards accepted by the IAF. On the 01st of February 2019, Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol and Sqn Ldr Siddarth Negi were tasked for one such acceptance trial sortie on an upgraded Mirage 2000 trainer aircraft. This aircraft had already been flown six times by the test pilots at HAL and it was the second customer(IAF) sortie. Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol and Sqn Ldr Siddarth Negi were experienced pilots and knew their tasks well. After the necessary flying briefing, both pilots took off as planned.
However, during the takeoff roll, there was an uncontrollable technical snag and the aircraft hit the arrest barrier at the end of the runway and dragged it. Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol and Sqn Ldr Siddarth Negi were forced to eject but it was too late. The parachutes got deployed but both the pilots sustained serious injuries as they fell near to the burning wreckage of the aircraft. Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol and Sqn Ldr Siddarth Negi later succumbed to their injuries and the IAF lost two valiant and committed air warriors in a tragic manner. Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol was a dedicated soldier and a professional competent air warrior who laid down his life in the service of the nation.
Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol is survived by his father Shri Sanjeev Abrol, mother Smt Sushma Abrol, wife Smt Garima Abrol and brother Shri Sushant Abrol. Later carrying forward the legacy of her husband, Garima Abrol joined the Indian Air Force and was commissioned as a Flying Officer in Dec 2020.
The inspiring story of Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol's wife :
Life took a happy turn for Garima when she got married to Sqn Ldr Samir Abrol in May 2015. A physiotherapist and a fitness instructor from Punjab, Garima soon adapted to the Air Force life and felt proud to be a member of the IAF family. But on 01 Feb 2019, destiny played a cruel joke with her, when she lost her husband in a tragic air crash, while undertaking an air operation. The world came crashing down for her and the life suddenly looked meaningless to her. She was distraught, angry and terribly worried about her future.
But she was a woman of strong will and determination. She took the tragedy in her stride and decided to take life head on. She decided to join the Air Force like her husband and started preparing for SSB. With her outstanding perseverance and single minded focus, she cleared the Service Selection Board (SSB) interview in July 2019, barely five months after her husband’s death. She joined the Air Force Academy in Dundigal and her course commenced in January 2020. During the training at AFA , she excelled in all aspects of training and won praise from all quarters for her commitment and grit.
At AFA, she was competing with the cadets much younger to her in age, but that did not deter her and she did very well in every aspect of training. The period was also emotionally draining for her, but she had resolved to win over all challenges and trauma. Eventually she passed out in December 2020 from AFA , and was commissioned as a Flying Officer. For Flying Officer Garima Abrol, it was no small feat by any stretch of imagination. The story of Fg Offr Garima Abrol embodies courage, struggle and survival and certainly is inspirational for countless young women of India.