Wing commander from Chadigarh among IAF plane crash victims

June 11th, 2009 - 12:39 am ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, June 10 (IANS) Wing Commander G.S. Butalia, the 36-year-old son of a fighter pilot, from Chandigarh was among the 13 defence personnel who were killed in the crash of an Indian Air Force (IAF) transport plane in the northeast.
“We have got the confirmation that Wing Commander G.S. Butalia, who was a native of Chandigarh, died in the plane crash in Arunachal Pradesh,” defence spokesperson Pradeep Das Gupta told IANS late Wednesday.

“He was posted at Jorhat in Assam. His widowed mother, who has already flown to Jorhat, was living here at their residence in Sector 45. His father had also been a pilot with the IAF,” he stated.

Butalia lived with his wife and twin children in Jorhat.

The aircraft, on a routine air maintanence flight, went missing Tuesday. Its wreakage was recovered in Arunachal Pradesh Wednesday.

“It is a big loss for me as he was just like a brother for me. The news came to me both as a shock and as a surprise because the past record of AN-32 planes is excellent,” a colleague and close friend of Butalia, who did not wish to be named, told IANS from Bangalore over telephone.

“Butalia, who had put in 14 years of service, was a very hard working and adventurous officer. He was a qualified flying instructor and transport combat leader (TCL),” he said.

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