Birth Place : Dehradun ,Uttarkhand
Service : Air Force
Last Rank : Squadron Leader
Date of Martyrdom : Mar 18, 2006
Squadron Leader Shailendra Singh hailed from Dehradun in Uttarakhand and was born in a family having a military background. His dream of joining the Armed Forces was fulfilled when he was selected to join the IAF. He further got selected to be trained as a fighter pilot and was trained to fly Jaguar aircraft among other fighter jets.
After his basic training, he was posted to the field unit flying Jaguar fighter aircraft. Besides, serving at various Jaguar squadrons, he was also posted at the Basic Flying Training School (BFTS) in Allahabad as a Flying Instructor. Sqn Ldr Shailendra Singh later joined the prestigious Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) based at Air Force station, Bidar in Andhra Pradesh.
Kiran MK 2 Air-crash: 18 Mar 2006
During 2005-06, Sqn Ldr Shailendra Singh was serving with 52 Sqn based at Air Force station Bidar. This sqn also known as SKAT was an aircraft aerobatic demonstration team of IAF. The Kiran aircraft employed in the aerobatic flew at speeds between 200 and 600 kmph during maneuvers and were exploited to the end of its abilities by the SKAT.
The team served as an ambassador of the Indian Air Force to showcase its prowess and professionalism. The aerobatics team always consisted of very experienced and highly skilled pilots as its role demanded flying skills of a very high level. All members of the SKAT were qualified flying instructors and were among the best fighter pilots in the IAF. These pilots whose main job was to fly highly risky aerobatic formations were selected after a rigorous selection process. It was one of the most coveted jobs in the IAF owing to the accolade, admiration and respect that SKAT enjoyed in the IAF as well as people at large.
Sqn Ldr Shailendra Singh was among the ace pilots who had flown fighter aircraft extensively and joined the famed SKAT. The pilots followed a rigorous training schedule to practice for daredevil aerobatics to achieve the desired level of perfection. One such sortie was scheduled on 18 Mar 2006 as part of their meticulously planned training calendar. On the ill-fated day of March 18, 2006, Sqn Ldr Shailendra Singh took off on Kiran MK II fighter trainer jet from Hyderabad along with his colleague Wing Commander Dheeraj Bhatia. During the training exercise in an unfortunate incident, two aircraft flying in a very close formation collided with each other. The aircraft being flown by Sqn Ldr Shailendra Singh and Wg Cdr Dheeraj Bhatia went into a spin and crashed near Naubad, around three kilometers from Bidar in Karnataka. Tragically, Sqn Ldr Leader Shailendra Singh and Wg Cdr Dheeraj Bhatia could not survive and laid down their lives in the service of the nation.
Sqn Ldr Leader Shailendra Singh’s commitment to duty and passion for flying fighter aircraft can be gauged from this statement which he made to his friend “I would not mind if I die while flying as a member of the Surya Kirans “. The young Squadron Leader, in a tragic manner, lived up to his word, however, the country lost a brave pilot and a committed soldier.
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