Air Force Day 2019: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, Balakot Air Strike Heroes Participate in Flypast - Watch Video
Abhinandan Vathaman, Balakot Air Strike Pilots Participate in Flypast (Photo Credits: ANI)

Ghaziabad, October 8: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who had shot down a Pakistani F-16 during a dogfight in February, today led a formation of the Indian Air Force's MiG-21 Bison aircraft on Air Force Day celebrations over Hindon Air Base in Ghaziabad. Along with Abhinandan Varthaman, pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF), who bombed the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror launch pad in Balakot, participated in the flypast as a mark of tribute to the teams which carried out the strike on February 26 and thwarted the Pakistani aerial attack on February 27. Air Force Day 2019: Facts to Know About the IAF on Its 87th Founding Day.

While Abhinandan led a group of three MiG-21s flying in avenger formation, Balakot heroes Group Captains Saumitra Tamaskar and Hemant Kumar flew a Jaguar and a Mirage 2000, respectively. Abhinandan's aerial manoeuvre on the MiG-21 was greeted by huge cheers from the crowds.

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman Flies MiG-21 Bison Aircraft:

Balakor Air Strike Heroes Participate in Flypast:

On February 26, the IAF carried out airstrikes against terrorist hideouts in Balakot to avenge a suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on February 14 which killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel and which was claimed by the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.

On February 27, Pakistan Air Force attempted to violate Indian airspace resulting in a dogfight with the IAF. Varthaman had downed the Pakistani F-16 during the dogfight following which his jet had lost control with the base station. He had been captured by Pakistani security agencies only to be released to India around 60 hours later at the Wagah border.