IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa flew a sortie with Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman at Air Force Station Pathankot today in a MiG-21 trainer. It’s the last sortie flown by IAF Chief in a fighter aircraft before retirement. They took off around 1130 hrs for a 30 min sortie. Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman flew in the trainer version of the MiG-21 Type 69 fighter Aircraft, earlier today. This was also the last sortie of the IAF Chief in a combat aircraft. Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Monday flew a sortie in a MiG-21 fighter aircraft from the Pathankot Airbase.
Vir Chakra awardee Varthaman who shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet post-Balakot operations had resumed flying operations on August 23. The officer has started flying after medical clearance.
During Pakistani counter-attack on India on February 27 in response to Balakot airstrikes, Abhinandan had flown a MiG 21 Bison fighter into Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). Abhinandan had been grounded due to ejection from his MiG-21 which had been shot down in aerial conflict with Pakistan Air Force F-16s. Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief, Dhanoa is also a MiG-21 pilot and had flown the planes during the 1999 Kargil war while commanding the 17 Squadron, during the war.