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A Word of Congratulations!


Congratulations to Cdr. Yadav and Lt. Cdr Kanwar, of the INAS 315, proud pilots of the Winged Stallions, INS Hansa

I read of it this morning, in the Indian Express, and was glad, for these brave pilots Cdr. Yadav, and Lt. Cdr. Kanwar,  who have been awarded the Shaurya Chakra, (the third in the ranking of honour, after the Ashok Chakra, and the Kirti Chakra) belong to the IL-38 Squadron, the 315 Squadron, INS Hansa, Goa, commanded by my younger brother, Capt. V. K. Pisharody. They call themselves the Winged Stallions, and an edifying statue of a Pegasus stands guard at their Squadron building.

The Ilyushin Il-38 formally entered service with the Indian Navy on 1 October 1977, with the commissioning of INAS 315 “Winged Stallions” at INS Hansa in Dabolim, Goa. The squadron was formed with just three aircraft in 1977 and two more examples joined the squadron in 1983.

They had had the best safety record amongst the squadron, when tragically, a freak accident occured during their 25th Anniversary celebrations, on 1 October, 2002. The mid-air collision between two IL-38 long-range patrol aircraft of the Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 315 in Goa was cruel irony. The occasion was not just a celebration of INAS’ silver jubilee but also of over 30,000 hours of accident-free flying. All aircrew on board both aircraft were killed and both aircraft were destroyed.

This morning, when my brother called, it was a voice rich with emotion, and pride, and vindication of all the work done by the Squadron, to regain, and restore the former glory. It was truly deserved, for the Naval Aviation wing is not in the news much, and this time, it was, for all the right reasons. After 20 long years, a bright shining light has fallen upon them, and held them up for all to see and applaud!

(Image from web 🙂 Though I have a bonafide picture, I dont think I will be forgiven for using it 🙂 )

Go, Stallions go!!!


Here is the article itself 🙂 From the Times of India, online edition.

VASCO: It’s an honour that is rare even if measured by the Indian Navy’s high standards of heroics.

It’s not often that a real-life hero’s act of valour and courage is so outstanding that the country deems it fit for honour. And when you consider that this has occurred after 20 years in the aviation history of the Indian Navy, the effort and the achiever have to be special.

For the first time since 1991, Cdr Niteen Anandrao Yadav — an aviator of the Indian Navy, based in Goa – has been chosen to receive the Shourya Chakra, the third in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards after the Ashoka Chakra and Kirti Chakra.

Lt Cdr Ajay Kanwar, first pilot during the operations that earned Yadav the Shourya Chakra, has also been rewarded with the Nao Sena award for gallantry.

“Cdr Yadav exhibited a high degree of maturity, composure and a sense of resolve in the face of impending peril,” said Rear Admiral Sudhir Pillai, flag officer commanding Goa Area.

Yadav’s moment of truth arrived in the afternoon of May 22, 2009 when he was detailed as co-pilot and safety pilot for a search and shadow mission.

Aboard the massive IL38 aircraft and in the face of cloudy weather, the IL38 — for the first time in the history of its operations in India and Russia — encountered a situation where all the generators on the aircraft failed one after the other. The aircraft experienced what is known as a total electrical failure. The oil radiator shutters were stuck in closed position and the radiator was unable to perform its function of cooling the engine.

This, not surprisingly, led to an imminent possibility of the engine catching fire in case of prolonged flight at low altitude.

“It’s very difficult to keep one’s mind cool and display professionalism in such a scenario, which Cdr Yadav managed to do,” Pillai said.

Taking charge, Yadav prevented a catastrophe, leading his superiors to point out how his exemplary courage, outstanding professionalism, superior leadership, and perseverance were all in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Navy.

With his several years of experience, Yadav directed the first pilot Kanwar to reduce altitude so as to avoid freezing because of the height. He lowered the undercarriage (the aircraft wheels) immediately before there was loss of electrical power and delayed descent in order to minimize risk of engine fire at low altitude.

Yadav provided flying inputs at the crucial time of landing approach to a relatively inexperienced first pilot Kanwar (who had only 13 hours of flying experience then) to fly the aircraft bereft of virtually all instruments necessary for flight.

Born in Karad in Maharashtra on May 2, 1970, Cdr Yadav was commissioned as an officer in 1992 and has flown four kinds of aircrafts. He commanded the Indian Naval Ship INSDB T60 in 2005. His wife and two children live in Mumbai.

15 August, 2010

Author: Usha Pisharody

A rambler, pretends to be a teacher, loves to dream, and go on Quixotic Quests in the Realm of Romance With Life...

23 thoughts on “A Word of Congratulations!

  1. Thanks for putting in words what we the Stallion family feel…. thank you..


    • Vinu, it’s an honour to have you write in those words. For, if I have got even an iota of what you feel into this post, I am gladder than you will ever know! 🙂

      Congrats, all over again, to you and the all the others of the Stallion Family 🙂 Fly High, and be proud of what you do! We are. And always will be!

      God Bless!

      And thank you 🙂 This is way beyond what I had even dreamed of 🙂 Your words here 🙂 So, the thanks are all mine, to you and your stallion family 🙂


  2. Dear ma’m..thanks a lot to pen down such great words for us and the squadron..it is definitely a proud moment for the sqn. Congratulations to you too… and it feels great to see your love and passion for the winged stallions..
    regards ajay


    • Dear Lt. Cdr Ajay Kanwar

      Thanks, if any, are all ours, mine and the readers, whom you all in the Armed Forces serve and protect!
      Thanks for the honour, of your words shared here, and Congratulations for the job well done!

      Yes, there is much love and passion for anything and everything to do with the Navy, more so, the Aviators, for reasons blatantly obvious 🙂 🙂 With so many in the family in the Navy, it had to be 🙂 Such loyalties and love are but automatic, I think!

      Once again Lt Cdr Ajay, bestest of wishes and blessings to you and your family, and the family of the Winged Stallions! Proud to have your words here! Thank you so much for the visit and words 🙂

      Thanks again, Vinu 🙂 🙂 you also!


  3. Its a great post. Not only in the context of it but also for giving the due respect that these brave men deserve from us. Everyone is busy but once in a while, such posts bring out little somethings in the name of patriotism for a common man, and believe me, it feels good to write a comment. Coz its because of them, we are us.

    Congratulations and salutes. Ma’am, including you for this fantastic post which acts as an awareness of remembrance.


    • Soumya, you are absolutely on the dot, when you mention the respect and patriotism that sometimes comes upon us unbidden when we read of such people. Thank you for your kind words, and the congratulations, I shall pass on 🙂
      I hope they will be able to, on their own, see for themselves the words here, for them 🙂
      thanks so much, all over again!


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  5. Many congratulations to the awardees! Service to the nation, they say is paramount and exemplary and thus requires sterling recognition!


    • Rakesh, indeed that is so true! Service to the nation is paramount, and the recognition, that comes thereof, truly deserving!

      Thank you for the wishes for the awardees. I shall pass them on to my brother, to share with them.


  6. Fantastic post and Congratsssss to Stallions 🙂


    • Leo 🙂 Thank you 🙂 As with the post being one of honour to the those who deservedly won the award, I must take a bit of that as well… being honoured with the presence of so many on a maiden visit to the blog 🙂 🙂

      Thank you so very very much! For the visit, the wishes and words!


  7. Thank you Ma`am for the kind and encouraging words. We the Winged Stallions are like a big family and our leader Capt VK Pisharody, the family head has been instrumental for the revival and the galloping strides of Winged Stallions. It is because of his consistent hard work and fore sight that Stallions have earned a name for themselves.All the actions we took for handling the unprecedented emergency was due to the training and guidance of Capt Pisharody.Pls accept my sincere gratitude for the Kind and encouraging words for the Winged Stallions and seek your Best wishes for Success and glory of Winged Stallions


    • Dear Cdr. Niteen Yadav

      It is a great honour to have your kind words here, and to have you sharing the honour of your award with your squadron! Spoken like a true and selfless Officer and a Gentleman! It is also a matter of great pride for us, Capt. Pisharody’s family that this recognition has come, as it should, because as you all know, there is much that he has done for the upliftment of the Winged Stallions! Though I have only a layperson’s view, from all he has shared of his work there, one thing shines right through: His love for his squadron and his men! That has been amply rewarded too!

      It is also so very modest of you to have attributed the resultant actions of that day to your Squadron Commander 🙂 but it must not take away from the fact that it was you and Lt Cdr Kanwar who actually did what had to be done, then. Bravo, Sir! You have, with your actions, earned both blessing and honour from a thankful multitude of patriots! Thank you!

      Thank you also for visiting this write, and your good words! Congratulations, once again 🙂


  8. \m/
    To echo Ushus’s words..Go Stallions go!!

    A proud Indian.


  9. What a heartwarming post Mam. First of all congratulations to the brave daredevils for getting awarded for their brave deeds! SALUTE TO U SOLDIERS!

    Always proud of them as i too was part of their life once. INS HANSA evokes such a nostalgia 🙂

    They live for us to fulfill our dreams,
    Facing the tempests
    To honour the country with such passions.
    They are the true brave hearts
    Whose hearts beat for their motherland
    Without an ounce of selfishness!


    • Sunita, thank you so very much! The pride we, especially those who are associated with the services, feel is no small thing 🙂 And rightly so! However much greater is the service they render, the most precious of all, for, with their effort and sheer dedication, it is not themselves they live for, and die for, but us, and other countrymen! Nothing greater or lesser!
      Salutes to them!
      Beautiful verse, Sunita 🙂 Thank you so much for adding your words and feelings to this post, and making it worthwhile 🙂


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  11. Yadav, you will have a brilliant future! I hope you will be a Commodore sooon (or maybe you are). From Russia, with love! Sergey Terekhov (OJSC “IL”)ю


    • Dear Segey Terekhov
      Thank you for visiting this blog finding this post. It is a real honour to have yet another from the Services, no matter that it is from Russia 🙂 Thank you, from this Indian!

      I hope Cdr. Yadav ( I’m not certain if he is still Cdr. or Capt.) will also read this. Will mail him! Thank you, once again!


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  13. I feel very small while reading these types of posts, Usha! Congratulations to the brave men. We are indebted to these people.

    Liked by 1 person

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