Abhinandan Varthaman leads MiG-21 Bison formation at Air Force Day flypast

Abhinandan Varthaman leads MiG-21 Bison formation at Air Force Day flypast
Varthaman downed a Pakistani aircraft in a dogfight on February 27, before his own MiG-21 Bison was hit by a missile. (File photo)

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was awarded Vir Chakra for downing a Pakistani fighter jet, led a MiG-21 Bison formation at the Air Force Day flypast on Tuesday.

Other fighter pilots who participated in the Balakot strikes also took part in the Air Force Day flypast.

Five gallantry awardees also led an Avenger formation comprising three Mirage 2000s and two Su-30MKI aircraft.

The loudest cheer came for Varthaman when it was announced that he was leading the Bison formation.

Indian Air Force fighter planes MIG 21 led by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman flies in a formation during Air Force Day parade at the Hindon air base on the outskirts of New Delhi, India Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. (AP Photo)

Varthaman downed a Pakistani aircraft in a dogfight on February 27, before his own MiG-21 Bison was hit by a missile. He crash-landed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) where he was caught. The Pakistan government, however, released him after remaining in its custody for almost 60 hours.

The aerial skirmish had taken place a day after the Indian Air Force targeted terror camps in Balakot in PoK.

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