Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on Thursday flew solo in a Mig-21 fighter jet, the oldest fighter aircraft in the IAF’s inventory, a defence statement said. Air Chief flew the Mig-21 Type 96 aircraft from the forward Indian airforce base at Uttarlai in Rajasthan.
This is the first visit of the Air Chief to a forward operational base in the western sector.
Dhanoa is on a three-day visit to the forward air base in the western sector to assess operational preparedness and take stock of the morale of the personnel stationed there, the statement said. The IAF chief’s flight in the aircraft, lasted about half an hour long, said officials.
Before Dhanoa, his predecessors, Air Chief Marshals A.Y. Tipnis and Dilbagh Singh had flown the Russian-made aircraft while commanding the service. Tipnis, who headed the IAF from December 1998 to December 2001, had said he flew the aircraft solo to send a message that it was safe.