New Delhi, Sep 2: Indian Air Force Chief ACM BS Dhanoa on Monday flew a sortie on a MiG-21 trainer fighter jet with Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was taken prisoner by Pakistan after being shot down during a dogfight between Indian and Pakistani fighter jets in February this year.
The two officers took off from Pathankot Air Force Station in Punjab. This was the last sortie of the IAF chief on a fighter jet, before retiring at the end of this month.
Today's sortie marks the successful return to flying of Wing Commander Abhinandan, who was undergoing intense medical tests, following his release from Pakistan.
He was shot down on February 27, while responding to an offensive from the Pakistan Air Force.
The Pakistan Air Force had attempted to enter the Indian airspace and target the military infrastructure, in response to the February 26 Balakot airstrike that saw the Indian Air Force enter Pakistan and bomb a terrorist facility, located in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
He was flying a MiG-21 Bison fighter during that dogfight and was shot down, after he took down a Pakistani F-16.
Wing Commander Varthaman ejected from his aircraft after being shot and landed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, where he was taken as a prisoner. After two days, he was released. (UNI)