On Friday, he flew front cockpit with Tigers squadron commander Wing Commander Ram Kumar. Over Bhind, an area replete with ravines, the aircraft’s Snecma M53 flamed out. After a series of relight attempts failed, the pilots initiated ejection procedures and bailed out. They were picked up by a SAR helicopter shortly thereafter and transferred to the military hospital in Gwalior. Both are safe and in good health.
Air Marshal Chopra has commanded the Tigers squadron and was part of the crew that ferried the first Mirages to India from France in the mid-1980s. He was posted in Russia during the MiG-21 upgrade programme and has commanded the Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) in Bangalore. Before picking up the three-star rank, he was Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Jammu & Kashmir at Udhampur, overseeing military air ops in that theater.
Photo / Sanjay Simha on BR