Number Eight: “Touching the Sky With Glory” or You’re Going To Go And Land At 22,000 ft on A Glacier!

I’ve always enjoyed a challenge but never did I imagine that one day I’d be invited to try my hand at flying in the Himalayas with the Indian Air Force’s elite 114 Helicopter Unit, also known as the “Siachen Pioneers”. I was Officer Commanding 28(AC) Squadron in 2007 when I was notified that I plus one other pilot were to pack for a trip to India to observe their helicopter operations in the mountains of the Himalayas.

This was a new bi-lateral exchange and we were to subsequently host their pilots for a visit to us at RAF Benson to fly in our Merlin Mk3: I think we got the best part of the deal! I selected a junior pilot, Kevin ‘Kevlar’ Harris to accompany me (he subsequently went on to be decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross for his exploits in Iraq) who proved to be an excellent choice. The reasons why are for another anecdote, sometime.

After staging briefly in New Delhi for in-briefing by the UK Defence Attaché, we took an internal airline flight to the home of 114 HU at Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (ICAO designator VILH), an airport in Leh, the capital of Ladakh, India.

The runway at Leh. Photo credit to Atamvir Singh

It is the 23rd highest airport in the world at 10,682 ft (3,256 m) above mean sea level. The descent through the mountains to land was incredible and I can’t even start to do justice describing it: better to take a look at a video on Youtube, such as this one:

We were greeted by our hosts and driven to the Officers’ Mess where we would acclimatise for a couple of days prior to moving by helicopter to the Forward Operating Base, at an altitude of 15,000 ft. I was frustrated but after an attempt to run up a flight of stairs had me wheezing I understood the need for the pause. I recall the first morning after our arrival waking in my room to a noise and being startled by the presence of a Non Combatant, equivalent to the British military batman, standing to attention in an immaculate white jacket holding a tray of tea and biscuits: after a greeting he said he’d go and run my bath while I enjoyed my ‘first breakfast’. I could definitely get used to this, I thought.

After sight-seeing and souvenir shopping in the ancient town of Leh and exploring the Indus Valley, we were finally flown to the FOB in one of 114 HU’s SA-315B, an aged copy of the Alouette II with an uprated engine for high altitude operations. Some of these aircraft were already over 30 years old but they were highly reliable, easy to maintain and the pilots trusted them. The route took us up to 17,000 ft to cross over the Karakoram Highway, a popular tourist attraction and one of the highest paved roads in the world passing through the Karakoram mountain range. We entered the Nubra Valley in Karakoram Himalaya, a highly glaciered valley with about thirty-three glaciers, the most prominent and longest amongst them being the Siachen Glacier.

Hindustan SA-315B Cheetah. Photo credit Atamvir Singh

The FOB is referred to by the crews of 114 HU as having the highest ATC in the world and at 15,000 ft they might be right. And it is from here that the crews operate up into the high Himalayas in support of the Indian Army’s troops as they patrol the disputed border with its neighbour, Pakistan. Conditions are incredibly challenging, especially so in the winter months and 114 HU’s crews are rightly regarded as some of the best in the Indian Air Force. With many awards and a place in the Limca Book for World Records for the highest helicopter landing (at a density altitude of 25,140 feet), the Unit is also famous worldwide for its daring rescues of mountaineers & trekkers from across the globe year after year. 

No alt text provided for this image

Touching the Sky with Glory!

After a series of briefs and checks we settled for the night in an attempt to get some sleep before the big day in the “proper hills”. The next day dawned clear and Kevin and I were each allocated to a pilot and aircraft for the day. After strapping in and donning oxygen masks – supplementary oxygen was essential to combat hypoxia and possibly impairment of scotopic, or low light, vision – we launched with the aircraft loaded with rations. We were heavy and the density altitude was high so we did a gentle cushion-creep departure to the north and immediately started to climb as we headed for the Siachen Glacier. 

No alt text provided for this image

The Siachen Glacier

The views along the way were simply stunning: better words fail me. Peaks toward over us in every direction as we followed the course of the glacier. Huge crevasses scarred the surface and the ice and snow was heaped in a continual series of jagged ridges which looked small from altitude but in reality were big and presented challenging conditions for the troops to traverse. And that is what they did – they literally walked up the glacier to their posts high up the valley. This was to provide them with an opportunity to simultaneously acclimatise and develop their mountain skills. I was very happy to be making the journey in a helicopter.

Approaching 22,000ft and with an indicated airspeed that was now meaningless, my pilot pointed out our landing site ahead, further up the valley. I looked, squinted, did that daft thing where you lean forward a few inches in the hope of extending your vision by a kilometre or so, but I was damned if I could see where he was pointing. All I could see was glacier and snow with the occasional rock. He pattered his actions as he set himself up on the approach and ran through the landing checks. The wind was calm (he said, I couldn’t tell) and the visibility was good. I struggled to adjust to the scale of the surroundings so my range assessment was hopeless meaning I had no sense of how fast we were going over the surface. 

I still couldn’t see the landing site as he verbally pointed out the troops waiting and the black square he was aiming at: It was as if I was suffering with extreme myopia! The pilot called “Committed” telling me that he no longer had the ability to overshoot – we had to land now and I still couldn’t see…. and with a bump we were down! I never saw it coming. My pilot had executed a flawless zero-zero landing at 22,000ft in a 30-year old single-engined helicopter on a pad I couldn’t see until we’d hit it. That’s good skills, right there.

But the real shock and awe was yet to come. “The soldiers are climbing up now” my pilot said. Climbing up what? I thought. And then I saw hands appear to my left, close in and then a very tanned face with big snow goggles. And then on the right-hand side too. The soldiers hauled themselves up and reached for the back doors, opened them and started to pull out the rations and throw them over the edge! I looked closely: we had landed on a pillar of ice only inches wider than the width of our landing gear. The margin for error was so tiny my incredulity momentarily caused my brain to stop functioning. When I recovered from my shock over the landing site and awe at the pilot’s skill, I got him to explain why the site was elevated – it’s to do with the tarpaulin cover and differential heating, apparently – and what would have happened if we’d missed. He pointed to a black rock some indeterminate (to me) distance away and said “You crash” – it was not rock, it was helicopter wreck. Enough said.

No alt text provided for this image

Ice Pillars for a Landing Site at 22,000ft

With the rations offloaded, the soldiers closed the doors, gave thumbs-up and disappeared over the edge from whence they came. We lifted, cautiously edged into forward flight and, with flying speed, turned to follow the descending glacier back to the FOB. The return flight was equally spectacular although the landing back at the FOB at 15,000ft now seemed relatively tame. 

I knew I had been witness to extraordinary flying skills. How they did what I’d seen in the region’s frequent poor weather was a mystery to me. I was – and still am – filled with admiration for the pilots who fly these missions and for their ground crews who do an incredible job keeping the old SA-315s flying all year round. The Siachen Pioneers have earned more than sixty-two Gallantry and Presidential awards in over thirty years of service on Operation Meghdoot: they truly live up to their proud motto: “We do the difficult as a routine, the impossible may take a bit longer.”

No alt text provided for this image

The FOB at 15,000ft

Morale of the Story: It’s not the tools you have but the quality and character of your people that determines the success of your mission. And when you think you might be good at something, be assured someone out there is better. And finally, 22,000ft in an old single-engined helicopter is insane!

57 thoughts on “Number Eight: “Touching the Sky With Glory” or You’re Going To Go And Land At 22,000 ft on A Glacier!

      1. Dear All
        It’s good that we are back to our IAF-Days. Please read 21000 ft.instead of 2100 ft errenously typed.
         Deshpadey’s experiences over Thoise took me back to Dras & Thoise days of TD.What an experience of inability to walk fast outside the room in Leh -Laddakh due to lack of Oxygen and make a drinking water by melting the ice amalgamated with echo back sound in long awaited booked STD telephone calls through telephone exchange- the pre-1986 days. We owe great to the great Indian Air Force.

        Dr.VirendraGoswami. 
        Former Vice Chancellor and Wing Commander.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Rich& All.

      Very nicely penned experience of “Siachin Pioneers’ by the great Pilot of friendly
      Forces: the RAF.
      As you are thrilled , so me too as I was one of the lucky Meteorological Officer of the great IAF to fly with the great ‘Siachen Pioneers’ as a supernunerary aircrew.The article is not only a thrill for me but, a great pride memoir too.Salute to the AIR & ground crew.
      In the sortie wherein, we flew ; I still remember that on landing at 2100 ft. Or so, the four Army soldiers hold the landing gears as the wind speed was more than 40 Kts or so.

      We are really proud to be a member of this great decorated valour family of Indian Air Force & Indian Armed Forces Armed Forces in totality.
      Dr.VirendraGoswami 
      Former Vice Chancellor and Wing Commander. 

      Like

  1. Such a proud feeling having served in Siachen Pioneers myself to read this masterpiece written by Bruce. One of the British pilot who visited us in our times told me his experience was extraordinary but his first love still remains the Indian curry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “The Land is so barren and the passes so high that only our fiercest enemies or Our best friends would want to visit us”

    Like

  3. Very interesting read and nostalgic too since I spent some years there flying in supplies in Dakotas. Today the jets fly above the ranges and land on proper runways. In out time we were down there in valleys landing on mud strips. 114 HU was a new unit then and were at a forward base together.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had served in 30Air Observation Post flight( Siachen Hawks) of Army Aviation located in Nubra Valley for close support of Indian Army units deployed on the Siachen Glacier.While the 114 HU of Indian Airforce at Leh positioned two SA -315 Lama ( Cheetah) in rotation at FOB , our flight operated 5 helicopters from Partapur and covered the entire Siachen Glacier. We use to fly from dawn to dusk , carrying out Air Maintenance, Casually Evacuating and Air OP tasks of directing Own Artillery Fire on to enemy targets.Landind at helipads like Sonam , Amar , Bila Fondla at density altitudes of 22000 feet and above was routine and at times in Bad weather, Low visibility and under Enemy Artillery and Heavy Machine Gun fire. Helicopter was just an extension of our body and soul. We thought about the mission and it just took us there. Faith in your weapon system is the key for a soldier to win a battle.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful reading , a narration depicting coordination of Exceptionally refined flying skill of Pilots in choppers and Warrior on ground for whom Airsupport is the lifeline ,involving daring situational decision making.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Siachen being the highest battlefield where weather is bigger culprit than enemy.

    May good sense prevail on Pakistan and we donot have to fight weather.

    A great reading. Kudos

    Like

  7. Having served in 114 HU way back in 1991, your excellent narration brought me back those vivid nostalgic memories of flying in the glacier for two years..
    Thanks..

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Flew the same helicopter there in 1985- 86. The altitude, the weather and the tiny helipads conspire to extend both man and machine to their extreme limits! Truly a life enriching experience ……calling for the highest skills !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Still flying high
    I remember u and the experience of flying in siachin glacier
    Your article was excellent regarding exposure of flying in such environments

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reading your narration brought me back to those vivid memories of flying for three years in the challenging heights in same Cheetah helicopters. Though reaching finale of flying career the very thoughts of missions in Siachen glacier rushes the Adranline in the blood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nostalgia, flew Cheetah as part of Army Aviation, colocated with Siachen Pioneers, from 1989 to 1991. Just two days before the detachment was to get over had a crash at the highest helipad in the world. Since you have not mentioned the name of the helipad – this was called Sonam. My punch line was, “credit the pilots for not having accidents inspite of flying beyond the envelop, to land at this helipad as we are crossing the barriers accidents are bound to happen. ” By the way the helicopter got written off but we had one of the softest landing as the fresh snow absorbed the impact.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember asking what something was near a crevasse- my pilot said it was a crashed helicopter. Such a demanding mission but incredible skills and bravery.

        Like

  11. Great feeling as I remembered my Command of 114 HU during 1988-89! I have dedicated a full chapter on 114 HU in my autobiography Test The Sky With Glory published in Jan 1917 !Happy landings 114HU!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It has been a nostalgic journey reading through the article, was a part of Siachen Pioneers during the period mentioned…..The Unit has that effect on you…..it awes you and gives a true sense of professional satisfaction ….every pilot who has flown in this terrain knows, that he has treasured lifetime memories. Kudos to all of them…and to the braves who still lie there……Happy Landings always.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi sir…. Very well articulated. I was a youngster in the Unit when you guys had visited. I think we exchanged some Scotch in the evening as well ? Equally fascinating was the Merlin brief that you had given. I think I still have those “brrah brrah” videos tucked in some old drive. Great connecting…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember your excellent Officers Mess. I’d forgotten I’d given a brief in the Merlin! If anyone has photos of our visit it would be good to see them. We only had 2 – the rest were corrupted on our USB drive 🥺

      Like

  14. Great article and salute to brave souls flying these missions regularly. About time government should start speeding up the process of certifying Light Utility Helicopter.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Spent 2.5 years flying in the Nubra valley, Siachen glacier and surrounds. Was located at Parta and flew with 30 AirOP from 1988-1990. Fond memories of repeated “15 day detachment” flying from base camp on the glacier, and all the surrounding lesser glaciers. Most rewarding flying in my career, by far. Loved the crocket we played amidst the rocks and gravel outside the officers mess. And the cricket matches in Diskit with the locals.
    Now, when I think back to those days fondly, having lived in the USA for over 26 years, it seems like a fairy tale world….

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Murti Sir, nice to connect once again. Those were simply the best days of our Service Career and most satisfying flying. As I understand you are settled in USA. More on hearing from you. Regards Deepak Dhanda

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Dear Rich& All.

    Very nicely penned experience of “Siachin Pioneers’ by the great Pilot of friendly
    Forces: the RAF.
    As you are thrilled , so me too as I was one of the lucky Meteorological Officer of the great IAF to fly with the great ‘Siachen Pioneers’ as a supernunerary aircrew.The article is not only a thrill for me but, a great pride memoir too.Salute to the AIR & ground crew.
    In the sortie wherein, we flew ; I still remember that on landing at 2100 ft. Or so, the four Army soldiers hold the landing gears as the wind speed was more than 40 Kts or so.

    We are really proud to be a member of this great decorated valour family of Indian Air Force & Indian Armed Forces Armed Forces in totality.
    Dr.VirendraGoswami
    Former Vice Chancellor and Wing Commander.

    Like

    Reply
    VIJAY
    1st May 2020 at 2:23 am
    Great article
    remembering old golden days of flying experience

    Like

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    1st May 2020 at 9:45 am
    Glad you liked it 🙂

    Like

    Reply
    MIKEY
    1st May 2020 at 3:49 am
    Amazing

    Like

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    1st May 2020 at 9:45 am
    Glad you liked it!

    Like

    Reply
    HIMLYNX
    1st May 2020 at 5:08 am
    Thanks Bruce for the update. I operated there back in 1962. See https://amolak.in/web/lifeline-through-the-sky-ladakh-1962-by-wg-cdr-j-thomasvm/ A small clarification. The mountain range between Leh and the Nubra Valley is the Ladakh range. The Karakorum range is further north.

    Like

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    1st May 2020 at 9:46 am
    I’m Richard but you are still welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

    Like

    Reply
    SHIVAM MANCHANDA
    1st May 2020 at 6:38 am
    Such a proud feeling having served in Siachen Pioneers myself to read this masterpiece written by Bruce. One of the British pilot who visited us in our times told me his experience was extraordinary but his first love still remains the Indian curry.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    1st May 2020 at 9:47 am
    Written by Richard 😊 And I’m glad you liked it 👍

    Like

    Reply
    VAIBHAW
    1st May 2020 at 7:06 am
    “The Land is so barren and the passes so high that only our fiercest enemies or Our best friends would want to visit us”

    Like

    Reply
    RAMESH CHANDANI
    1st May 2020 at 9:27 am
    Gp capt RT CHANDANI

    Like

    Reply
    ARUNESH PRASAD
    1st May 2020 at 10:13 am
    Very interesting read and nostalgic too since I spent some years there flying in supplies in Dakotas. Today the jets fly above the ranges and land on proper runways. In out time we were down there in valleys landing on mud strips. 114 HU was a new unit then and were at a forward base together.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    1st May 2020 at 6:48 pm
    I was lucky enough to fly a Dakota once at Farnborough. You have my respect, sir.

    Like

    Reply
    PRITPAL SINGH
    1st May 2020 at 11:52 am
    I served with 114 HU between December 1975 and January 1981 ///we had Chetak (Alloutte)helicopters during those days.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    COL GOPAL SOLANKI
    1st May 2020 at 1:49 pm
    I had served in 30Air Observation Post flight( Siachen Hawks) of Army Aviation located in Nubra Valley for close support of Indian Army units deployed on the Siachen Glacier.While the 114 HU of Indian Airforce at Leh positioned two SA -315 Lama ( Cheetah) in rotation at FOB , our flight operated 5 helicopters from Partapur and covered the entire Siachen Glacier. We use to fly from dawn to dusk , carrying out Air Maintenance, Casually Evacuating and Air OP tasks of directing Own Artillery Fire on to enemy targets.Landind at helipads like Sonam , Amar , Bila Fondla at density altitudes of 22000 feet and above was routine and at times in Bad weather, Low visibility and under Enemy Artillery and Heavy Machine Gun fire. Helicopter was just an extension of our body and soul. We thought about the mission and it just took us there. Faith in your weapon system is the key for a soldier to win a battle.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    1st May 2020 at 6:47 pm
    That is amazing. My respect to you, sir.

    Like

    Reply
    Pingback: Number Eight: “Touching the Sky With Glory” or You’re Going To Go And Land At 22,000 ft on A Glacier! – BEHIND THE DRAG CURVE: ANECDOTES FROM AN AVIATION CAREER | Cyrus49’s Blog
    LT COL SUNIL KUMAR YADAV
    1st May 2020 at 2:12 pm
    Wonderful reading , a narration depicting coordination of Exceptionally refined flying skill of Pilots in choppers and Warrior on ground for whom Airsupport is the lifeline ,involving daring situational decision making.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    1st May 2020 at 6:50 pm
    Glad you liked it 😊

    Like

    Reply
    SANDY
    1st May 2020 at 2:43 pm
    Proud of the Indian Airforce pilots

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    VIJAY
    1st May 2020 at 3:47 pm
    Was a great experience flying Harris

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    1st May 2020 at 6:46 pm
    Hi! Tell me your name! What are you doing now. So great you commented. Do you remember me as well?!

    Like

    Reply
    V MOHAN
    1st May 2020 at 8:08 pm
    Having served in 114 HU way back in 1991, your excellent narration brought me back those vivid nostalgic memories of flying in the glacier for two years..
    Thanks..

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    GP CAPT VIJAY YADAV
    2nd May 2020 at 3:07 am
    Still flying high
    remembers both of u and the experience of flying in glacier

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    ROCKY DHAWAN
    2nd May 2020 at 4:51 am
    Flew the same helicopter there in 1985- 86. The altitude, the weather and the tiny helipads conspire to extend both man and machine to their extreme limits! Truly a life enriching experience ……calling for the highest skills !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    GP CAPT VIJAY YADAV
    2nd May 2020 at 6:09 am
    Still flying high
    I remember u and the experience of flying in siachin glacier
    Your article was excellent regarding exposure of flying in such environments

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    2nd May 2020 at 8:49 am
    Thank you Gp Captain! It was an honour and an education to fly with the Pioneers.

    Like

    Reply
    RP SINGH
    2nd May 2020 at 9:53 am
    Have flown Cheetahs in this area in 1987-88. Memories embedded forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    2nd May 2020 at 12:22 pm
    Impossible to forget! 😊

    Like

    Reply
    MAJOR PIYUSH KUMAR
    2nd May 2020 at 12:21 pm
    Reading your narration brought me back to those vivid memories of flying for three years in the challenging heights in same Cheetah helicopters. Though reaching finale of flying career the very thoughts of missions in Siachen glacier rushes the Adranline in the blood.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    2nd May 2020 at 12:22 pm
    Glad it brought back good memories 👏🏻

    Like

    Reply
    DEEPAK DHANDA
    2nd May 2020 at 2:41 pm
    Nostalgia, flew Cheetah as part of Army Aviation, colocated with Siachen Pioneers, from 1989 to 1991. Just two days before the detachment was to get over had a crash at the highest helipad in the world. Since you have not mentioned the name of the helipad – this was called Sonam. My punch line was, “credit the pilots for not having accidents inspite of flying beyond the envelop, to land at this helipad as we are crossing the barriers accidents are bound to happen. ” By the way the helicopter got written off but we had one of the softest landing as the fresh snow absorbed the impact.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    2nd May 2020 at 3:07 pm
    I remember asking what something was near a crevasse- my pilot said it was a crashed helicopter. Such a demanding mission but incredible skills and bravery.

    Like

    PPS GILL
    2nd May 2020 at 12:35 pm
    Flew 2000 hrs in C47 Dakota, landing at Leh, Kargil and Thoise, 1962-64.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    GP. CAPT VIKAS KARANDIKAR
    2nd May 2020 at 3:55 pm
    Great feeling as I remembered my Command of 114 HU during 1988-89! I have dedicated a full chapter on 114 HU in my autobiography Test The Sky With Glory published in Jan 1917 !Happy landings 114HU!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    GP. CAPT VIKAS KARANDIKAR
    2nd May 2020 at 3:57 pm
    Please correct 1917 to read 2017

    Like

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    2nd May 2020 at 5:00 pm
    Fabulous! I shall look it up 🤓

    Like

    Reply
    FELIX PINTO
    3rd May 2020 at 4:43 am
    It has been a nostalgic journey reading through the article, was a part of Siachen Pioneers during the period mentioned…..The Unit has that effect on you…..it awes you and gives a true sense of professional satisfaction ….every pilot who has flown in this terrain knows, that he has treasured lifetime memories. Kudos to all of them…and to the braves who still lie there……Happy Landings always.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    SSB
    3rd May 2020 at 5:09 am
    Hi sir…. Very well articulated. I was a youngster in the Unit when you guys had visited. I think we exchanged some Scotch in the evening as well ? Equally fascinating was the Merlin brief that you had given. I think I still have those “brrah brrah” videos tucked in some old drive. Great connecting…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    3rd May 2020 at 7:50 am
    I remember your excellent Officers Mess. I’d forgotten I’d given a brief in the Merlin! If anyone has photos of our visit it would be good to see them. We only had 2 – the rest were corrupted on our USB drive 🥺

    Like

    Reply
    VIKRAM SHARNA
    3rd May 2020 at 6:09 am
    Great article and salute to brave souls flying these missions regularly. About time government should start speeding up the process of certifying Light Utility Helicopter.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    BK MURTI
    3rd May 2020 at 6:32 pm
    Spent 2.5 years flying in the Nubra valley, Siachen glacier and surrounds. Was located at Parta and flew with 30 AirOP from 1988-1990. Fond memories of repeated “15 day detachment” flying from base camp on the glacier, and all the surrounding lesser glaciers. Most rewarding flying in my career, by far. Loved the crocket we played amidst the rocks and gravel outside the officers mess. And the cricket matches in Diskit with the locals.
    Now, when I think back to those days fondly, having lived in the USA for over 26 years, it seems like a fairy tale world….

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    RICH LUCK
    3rd May 2020 at 7:28 pm
    What an incredible experience. May I suggest you record this for future generations!

    Like

    Reply
    LEAVE A REPLY
    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Comment

    Name *
    Dr.VirendraGoswami

    Email *
    vk_goswami1@rediffmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dear BK Murti Sir.
    You have sketched in words ,the Siachen valley and the Base camp surroundings very nicely as the ditto is my experience during the same time 1988-90 perhaps, when I was sent on TD ( Temporary Duty) to Leh Air Force Station from my base Air Force Station Jammu for 3 weeks or so.I was senior Squadron Leader then. Hats off the operators who operate in though beautiful valley but, with unpredictable weather and most difficult terrain amalgamated with unpredictable flying emergencies e.g. white out.
    Dr.VirendraGoswami.
    Former Vice Chancellor and Wing Commander.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi Rich. Thank you for a cracking account of your experiences with the indomitable 114th. I flew two tenures on the glacier in Mi-17s from 1985-87 and 1989-91 and your article brought back fond memories. May I request you to send me your email please?

    Best wishes,
    Rana

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad it brought back fond memories. I remember seeing the Mi-17s and was lucky enough to fly in your Mi-17V5 in Jodhpur. Send me your email and I will reply 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s