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Air chief flies MiG 21 with Abhinandan in Pathankot

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: September 2, 2019  | 13:51 IST

Pathankot, Sep 2 (PTI) Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the IAF pilot who became the face of a tense military confrontation between India and Pakistan in February, on Monday flew a MiG 21 fighter jet here. Varthaman started flying the MiG 21 about two weeks ago, nearly six months after sustaining injuries while ejecting from a fighter plane during an aerial combat between India and Pakistan on February 27. On Monday, IAF Chief Dhanoa and Abhinandan took a sortie on the MiG 21 jet from the Pathankot air base, officials said. The 36-year-old IAF pilot was captured by the Pakistani Army on February 27 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during aerial combat. Before his jet was hit, he downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan. Varthaman was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan. He was taken off flying duties because of his injuries. Varthaman was conferred the Vir Chakra, the coveted wartime gallantry medal, for downing the F-16 jet of Pakistan during the aerial combat. The Vir Chakra is the third highest gallantry award after the Paramvir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra. PTI MPB MIN MIN

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