BANGALORE: Veteran Test Pilot and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bangalore-based Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation of Flying (HATSOFF) CD Upadhyay has quit.
Sources confirmed to Express on Thursday that Upadhyay put in his papers on January 5 and will be out of HATSOFF by the end of this month. HATSOFF is a joint venture (JV) between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and CAE Canada.
Sources said that Upadhyay emailed his resignation to the Board members expressing his desire to be off all activities of Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation of Flying.
“The CAE, while acknowledging the email thanked him for getting a world-class, leading-edge chopper training facility in Bangalore. He is now keen to share his expertise to promote helicopter industry and safe helicopter operations in India,” sources explained.
He was appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer of the Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation of Flying in 2009.
Meanwhile, HAL chairman’s office conveyed to Express that Upadhyay was turning 65 years this month and it was a matter of days before he would have signed off officially.
An email sent to CAE’s Media Department evoked no response.
“He was informed that he could continue till March, which he rejected. There were some skirmishes over an armed forces’ wing not agreeing to sent Dhruv pilots to train at HATSOFF despite repeated representations to them. He didn’t budge a bit from the rulebook over this case,” the sources said.
For Upadhyay this will be the end of a hat-trick service spanning over 65 years.
He commanded the Mi-8 Squadron while being with the Indian Air Force and later was the Chief Test Pilot (CTP) of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) rotary wing operations.
“He was very much part of the design and development of Dhruv from its inception and has over 1,000 hours of prototype testing experience on this helicopter. He has flown over 33 types of aircraft and has over 9,000 hours of operational, prototype testing and instructional flying experience,” sources in HAL’s Human Resources Department said.
Meanwhile, Upadhyay was not available for comment.