What amazes each one, be it an adult or children is flying high in the sky in an aeroplane. Ask any kid “What do you want to become and most say, driver of a aeroplane, a Pilot”.
Here is a story of Sunil Sadashivpeth who had never thought he would be a pilot any day and that he would be part of the Suryakiran Aerobatic Team.
Meet, Sunil Sadashivpeth of Belgaum. Sunil did his schooling till Std. 7th in St. Xavier’s high school Belgaum. Later he was shifted to SB Residential School Gulbarga as his father was transferred frequently and his parents did not want his education to get hampered as his father worked in the PWD mainly on irrigation projects. He completed his PUC I in Gulburga and then shifted again to PC Jabin college Hubli for PUC II.
After completing his PUC II he was as confused as anyone else as what next?
Sunil had in mind that he could opt for Medical or dental course but his parents were firm that they wanted to see Sunil as an Engineer. He then joined RLSI (Raja Lakhamagowda Science Institute) and out of the blue chose Physics as a major subject with mathematics and chemistry as minor subjects. During college, he and his other 4 friends joined NCC without just to see how it is. During his NCC he attended various camps which included the Vayu Sainik camp at Lucknow, Trek to Saung and Pindari Glaciers and the annual training camp. Unknowingly this was the time he had fallen in love with flying after his day one of gliding at Sambra. He then went on to complete his C certificate and then applied for a permanent commission. When the stars are favorable all happens for the good, he was selected for the 133 PFTC (Pre Flying Training Course) to be commissioned with 150 Pilots.
He joined the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Air Force Station Begumpet (Hyderabad) in June 1991 after completing his bachelors in Science and completed his training at three different places. Hyderabad (PFTC), Allahabad (Basic Flying) and the Bidar (Advanced Flying course).
During the training he was awarded the Sanjay Gandhi Trophy for performing best in Aerobatics. He was commissioned on 19 December 1992 and was sent for training to Kalaikunda to join the fighter stream. He has flown the Hunters and Jaguars and has a flying experience of about 3000 hours on fighter jets.
In 2002-03 he was selected for Suryakiran Aerobatic Team and served a tenure with them. He has done about 150 displays which include three in Belgaum ( 2005 and 2006).
Sunil is a qualified Flying Instructor and has experience of about 600 hours as as instructor.
He is presently posted in Hyderabad, married to Roopa, they are blessed with two lovely daughters Tanya and Tasha.
A small interview:
You have been a part of the Suryakiran Aerobatic Team, tell us more about it?
Sunil ——–> Surya Kiran (Sanskrit: सूर्य किरण – Sun Rays) is an aerobatics demonstration team of the Indian Air Force, successors to theThunderbolts. The Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) was formed in 1996 to serve as the “Ambassadors of the Indian Air Force” and to “showcase the professionalism, the calibre and the mettle of the Indian Air Force”. The team has since performed numerous demonstrations in various parts of the country and abroad, and is today among the three renowned nine-aircraft public display aerobatic teams in the world (the other two being the British Red Arrows and the Canadian Snowbirds).
The squadron is primarily composed of the HAL HJT-16 Kiran Mk.2 military trainer aircraft and are based at the Bidar Air Force Station in Karnataka. The team has a total of 13 pilots of whom only 9 are flying at any given time. Pilots are selected twice a year for a three-year tour of duty. Only Fighter aircraft qualified pilots are selected. All pilots in the team are Qualified flying instructors (QFI’s) with about 2,000 hours of fighter flying experience and 1,000 hours on the Kiran aircraft. The Team is headed by a Commanding Officer who is also the leader of the formation during display sorties. The Team Leader has the opportunity of selecting his future team pilots after subjecting them to grueling flight trials and tests.
You wanted to be a medical professional, but your parents an engineer. Are you now happy with being an engineer in the IAF?
Sunil ——–>I am NOT an engineer in the IAF. I have just done my BSc and am a pilot in the IAF. I am glad that I joined the IAF, as I am able to enjoy the work that I do at this place. In simple words – I am being paid for what I enjoy the most.
You have flown over Belgaum on two occasions doing the Aerobatic stunts, how does Belgaum look from the top?
Sunil ——–> Both times that I flew over Belgaum – I just could not see the place as I needed to concentrate on the flying and trying to keep in position with the leader. We really have no time to get our eyes off the front as we fly very close to each other. I would have loved to see Belgaum from the top but my hard luck.
Your advice to the young who want to join the IAF?
Sunil ——–> This is the place for people who have a zeal to excel. If you like to fly this is the place. IAF is the most exciting amongst the forces I would say. To be a part of the IAF you need to be fit both mentally and physically as we as pilots face a lot of pressure.
Tell us how one can join the IAF? (in short)
Sunil ——–> The best would be to check up the official website http://careerairforce.nic.in/home.html this site gives you all the info that you require to join the IAF.
You have landed and flown from almost all air bases, which the one you liked the most?
Sunil ——–> The best airfield that I have landed till date has been Lengpui (Aizwal, Mizoram). The most challenging airfield has been Kumbhigram (Silchar, Assam)
Narrate some interesting incident good or bad during your career till date?
Sunil ——–> The best I felt was when I landed my aircraft in Ahmedabad after a mid air collision. That also happens to be a bad incident of my life as this is the only accident that I have been involved in.
Check this link for the accident http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO07Kl3zlVk
What is the best thing about Belgaum you like?
Sunil ——–>Belgaum – This is the place where I have spent my childhood. This is the place where once a person spends even a short time falls in love with. I know of people from far off places who have settled down permanently without actually having any bond with the city. There is something in this place that attracts me. Just cant explain the love for this place.
What are your thoughts on this website?
Sunil ——–>A good site offering a lot of info on all things concerning Belgaum. I always thought that I knew a lot about Belgaum till I read Trivia section and realized that I had not seen much of Belgaum.
The above article is published intending that youngsters will get attracted to join the IAF.