India’s first military chopper pilot passes away

July 20th, 2011 - 11:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Air Commodore (retd) S.K. Majumdar, the first Indian military pilot to fly a helicopter in 1954, died at the army’s research and referral hospital here Wednesday. He was 84.

Majumdar, who was born in 1927 and commissioned into the Royal Indian Air Force in 1948, had pioneered military chopper flying in India.

He had retired from the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 1977 after 29 years of service, according to the Rotary Wing Society of India (RWSI), which had honoured him with the ‘Sikorsky Pioneering Award’ in 2004 for his work in the field of helicopter aviation in India.

During his IAF service, he achieved many firsts - flying a helicopter, an S-55 Sikorsky, in 1954, first helicopter qualified flying instructor, first to do an amphibious operation, founder of helicopter training unit of the IAF, and first roof-top landing in 1959, the RWSI said in a release.

He was also a pioneer in mountain terrain operations and evolved concepts of mountain flying in erstwhile North East Frontier Area (NEFA) or the present day Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Jammu and Kashmir.

He had also achieved the enviable record of accident-free flying, the RWSI said.

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