17 June, 2021

Mysore Diary

The outskirts of this quiet but changing town, I am happy to report, are still green.

Mysore Diary

Flight guru

The HT-2 trainer of the IAF, on a routine flight over the Bidar Elementary Flying School, had been up for 20 minutes, flying like a dream. At the controls was K.N. Mirji, on his third solo. Time to land, and air traffic control cheered him with a “Bravo Delta!” But as Mirji attempted a landing, the aircraft bounced and jolted, and the frantic message from air traffic control was: “Abandon landing! Go around the airfield, climb 5,000 feet.” He knew the undercarriage was damaged. A crash-landing was inevitable.

But then a cool, detached voice came through: “Bravo Delta, how do you read me? Something wrong with your left wheel. Land on two wheels. Just follow instructions, it’s not difficult.” It was Squadron Leader Ronnie Mitra, a hotrod flier adored by trainee pilots. Mirji followed...

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