Story of a Sergeant – A True Story

An Airman in the Indian Air Force was assigned to the Su-7 squadron. He was trained to repair the Su-7 through training by Russians and Poles. At that time, he had a son who was 6 years old and a daughter who was 1-year-old; and of course his wife.

Suddenly, the pilots of Su-7 in squadron were complaining about the auto-pilot not functioning properly. After about 5 complaints, the pilots refused to fly the plane. There was a huge concern as this was the most modern aircraft available with the Indian Air Force. The matter reached the Air Head Quarters. The Squadron in-charge, a Squadron Leader, was in a difficult position. He approached the Airman, who was an expert in instrumentation by this time, to see if he could do something about the matter.

The Airman, then a Sergeant, worked on one of the aircrafts for about 5 days. During this period, all his peers discouraged him to get involved. After the 5th day, he found the issue and worked out a resolution. Working out the resolution was against the agreement between Russia and India on the sale of the Su-7 aircrafts. Having worked out the solution, he informed the Squadron in-charge. The Squadron in-charge stated that he would test the plane himself. He flew the aircraft and found that indeed the problem was resolved.

Now, the plane had to be tested by at least 3 other pilots. The Squadron in-charge informed in the Station in-charge, an Air Commander, about the development. The Air Commander was extremely upset that he had not been informed about this project. He was severely concerned about how the Air Head Quarter would react. The Station in-charge notified that he would court-martial the Airman. Anyway, he agreed for 3 more pilots to test the plane.

In the meanwhile, the Airman took severely ill due the extreme work load over the week and was hospitalised. The 3 pilots flew the plane after 3 days and reported that the problem exists. When the Airman got to know of this news in the hospital, he discharged himself. He went to the hanger to inspect the planes which the pilots had reported as malfunctioning. He found that there were essential components made dis-functional intentionally on these aircrafts. He worked on these aircrafts over the night. Next morning, he informed his Squadron in-charge to let the pilots fly the plane once again. The pilots flew the plane and found that there was indeed no issue with the aircrafts any more.

The Air Head Quarter was informed about this development. However, the Station in-charge was getting the Court Martial process against the Airman formalised. At that time, the Russian experts arrived at the station. They inspected the aircrafts and studied the fix. They immediately sent a message to their chiefs that this was a marvellous piece of engineering genius that had fixed the issue. The Russian Chiefs informed the Air Head Quarter about the same. Now, the Air Head Quarter wanted to award the person who had worked out the solution. They asked for the details from the Station in-charge.

The Station in-charge was in a fix now. He discussed with a Warrant Officer and nominated one of the Electricians as the brain behind the fix. The Warrant Officer was a well-wisher and a close friend of the Airman. The Warrant Officer informed about the Station in-charge’s action to the Airman. Both had a hearty laugh and went back to the comfort of their families.


Image taken from Google Images

Image taken from Google Images

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