Indian Air Force’s Group Captain Varun Singh, the sole survivor who has been injured in the recent CDS chopper crash, was decorated with Shaurya Chakra for saving his LCA Tejas fighter aircraft during an aerial emergency in 2020 on 15 August 2021. India lost Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 11 other security personnel in this crash at Coornool.
“During the sortie, the cockpit pressurization failed at high altitude. He correctly identified the failure and initiated a descent to a lower altitude for landing. While descending, the Flight Control System failed and led to total loss of control of the aircraft. This was an unprecedented catastrophic failure that had never occurred. There was a rapid loss of altitude while in usual attitude, with the aircraft pitching up and down viciously going to the extremities of G limits. Despite being in extreme physical and mental stress in an extremely life-threatening situation, he maintained exemplary composure and regained control of the aircraft, thereby exhibiting exceptional flying skill,” Varun Singh’s citation regarding the 12 October 2020 read.
Defense General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brigadier LS Lidder, Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, NK Gursewak Singh, NK Jitendra Kumar, L/NK Vivek Kumar, L/NK B Sai Teja, and Hav Satpalb, and others have been reportedly declared dead.