When an Indian Air Force Kiran trainer aircraft crashed near Hakimpet air base on August 28, 2011, it had also shattered the dreams of bright-eyed 20-year-old Rajkumar Herojit Singh, an Air Force cadet training to become a combat pilot.
Less than two years after that fateful accident, which left him paralysed waist down, Herojit will get commissioned into the IAF as a Flight Lieutenant on June 22, after successfully passing out of the Air Force Academy (AFA) at Dundigul near Hyderabad.
However, Herojit will not fly planes for the IAF. Instead, he will be an officer in the IAF’s accounts branch, for which special approvals have been obtained, according to the IAF officers at Air Headquarters here.
Herojit, once considered to be one of the best flight cadets in the AFA, had gone through a year-long medical treatment for the spine injuries he suffered in the air crash that left him a paraplegic.
But that injury did not shake his resolve to don the Sky Blue IAF uniform. While still under treatment, the cadet requested IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne to allow him to serve the force if his physical condition did not come in the way of performing his duty.
His request found favour from both Browne and Defence Minister A K Antony, who approved his commissioning into the IAF’s accounts department as an officer.
Herojit returned to training at the AFA in January this year and after six months of going through the specialist training for the accounts branch, he is now ready to get commissioned as an officer.
Earlier this month, while on an official study tour to the national capital, Herojit requested for a meeting with the IAF chief. Browne agreed to it and met with the young cadet to wish him the best ahead of his commissioning, the officers added.