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States » South

8 Naval pilots graduate at INS Rajali, Arakkonam, POP held with safety norms

Chennai, June 13 (UNI) Eight Indian Navy pilots graduated
from INS Rajali at Arakkonam at special Passing Out Parade
(POP) held by adhering to all safety and social distancing
norms, to mark the graduation of the 94th Helicopter
Conversion Course (HCC) today.
The Eight Indian Navy pilots were awarded prestigious “Wings
of Gold” by Commodore Shreerang Joglekar, Commanding
Officer INS Rajali.
The newly graduated pilots will be appointed to various front
line operational units of the Indian Navy where they will take
on several missions such as Search And Rescue (SAR),
Reconnaissance, Surveillance and anti-piracy patrols.
The pilots underwent rigorous flying and ground training for
20 weeks at Indian Naval Air Squadron 561, the Helicopter
Training School (HTS).
As the COVID-19 pandemic affected all operations worldwide
bringing things to a standstill, with enforcement of national
lockdown across the country, training activities for the pilots
at HTS also had to be restricted keeping in mind the safety
aspects against COVID-19.
Despite a setback of more than a month, the unit, while
adhering to all the safety precautions, promulgated new
procedures for conduct of safe flying operations, including
daily sanitisation of aircraft and squadron premises by
maintaining a safe and conducive training environment
adhering to social distancing norms.
A defence release here said training re-commenced from
April 20 and methodical planning and execution, resulted
in time bound completion.
The performance of the squadron to provide well trained
and professionally sound helicopter pilots to the Indian
Navy ‘on time’ remains unmatched.
During the course, the trainee pilots were introduced to
several nuances of helicopter flying.
They underwent a challenging syllabus, including navigation,
night flying and operations over sea.
At the end of the course, the trainees were adjudged for
‘Best in Flying’, ‘Best in Ground Subjects’ and ‘Best in
Overall Order of Merit’.
After the ceremonial review, the Governor of Kerala Rolling
Trophy was awarded to Lt Pankaj Thakur for being adjudged
as the Best All Round Trainee Pilot, and the Flag Officer
Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command Rolling Trophy
to SLt Brahmjot Singh Chopra for standing first in order
of merit in Flying.
A book prize was also awarded to Lt Ashwin M for standing
first in ground subjects.
In its rich heritage spanning almost five decades, INAS 561
(HTS) located at INS Rajali, Arakkonam commanded by Capt
Krishanu De, has trained 733 pilots for the Indian Navy, Coast
Guard as well as from friendly foreign navies.
UNI GV 1624
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