Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman may soon fly fighter planes again

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who is back in his squadron in Srinagar, is most likely to return to a fighter cockpit any time soon following the final clearance by the Bengaluru-based Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM).

The 35-year-old IAF officer is all set to undergo a series of tests in the coming weeks, two IAF officials said on the condition of anonymity, according to a Hindustan Times report.

Wing Commander Varthaman created history in military aviation by shooting down a Pakistani F-16 during a dogfight with the Pakistan Air Force on February 27, moments before his MiG-21 Bison was hit by an enemy missile forcing him to eject. 

Experts have hailed it as the first ever kill of an F-16 by a MiG-21 Bison, fighter jets of two different generations. He could be recommended for a Vir Chakra, India’s third-highest war-time gallantry award, the report said.

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