So you think it’s over. Wait, its  not, the game’s ON 

Guest Blog By Umang Jain

Let’s see.

1st June 2016, Jamnagar, Gujarat.

This is the story of an IAF Pilot that seems to be a fictional one. Believe it this is real. Riding a bike at 120 kmph without a helmet is not safer but riding a MiG-29 at 1358 kmph without a canopy is impossible. But this is true. Sqn Ldr Rijul Sharma a 30-year-old experienced pilot was on a routine flying exercise with an objective to stretch MiG-29 to its limit in the “Supersonic Corridor”. After some checks and steady level flying the throttle was increased up to Mach 1.1. All of a sudden he noticed a whistling sound in the cockpit. He looked up and discovered that entire canopy had shattered with some part smashed into his right shoulder. He was now opened to -29C temp of wind. Now every second was important to him from thinking-to- imposing a decision.

He did every bit of effort which he had received as a flying cadet during his training. He dropped the speed which was a good decision. Now the speed was in a subsonic state but still, the situation was very menacing. His head was being thrown around in every direction. His upper body was now completely numb because of cold air, high speed, and an injured shoulder. Contact with ground control became impossible due to too much wind roar. He managed to slow down the aircraft and was flying at 400 kmph at an altitude of 10,000 feet. He knew that landing will be tough without canopy due to some aerodynamics forces that play a crucial role in landing and can make air flow over aircraft dangerous making it difficult to land and anything can happen. Possibility for a safe landing was close to none as he can’t eject once he landed, at the same time he didn’t know that the destroyed canopy had damaged any control surfaces or not. But, nothing is more important than human life.

Then he made a decision to stay with the jet. After reaching the low altitude due to dense air the turbulence increased. He contacted ground control and informed about the situation asking for landing. Ground control informed that he was cleared for land and could face a 20 kmph head-on wind feels like 200 kmph straight on his face.

He landed successfully and received by the rescue team, while on the stretcher he smiled at the team. Later that day his family was informed. His father Wing Cdr Sandeep Sharma and his mother Neeta were shocked. Later in the hospital he met his family and his father said that “When he’s up there, he knows what he’s doing.”

This is what entitles this blog.

So, when you will join the Armed forces be ready for worse.

“Lead your life. Don’t let life lead you.” 

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