Wing Commander Mandeep Singh Dhillon, someone everyone remembers as a brave officer with a warm heart passed away on July 4th along with three air warriors. They met with a tragic accident when their plane crashed in the mountains in Arunachal Pradesh. Not just this but the same day, the crew saved 169 civilians to safety.
Mandeep Singh Dhillon will always be remembered for his outgoing and warm personality, but there are some facts that will inspire you more and make you fall in love with the person he was.
1.) Mandy, right what his friends used to call him, saving lives was his ultimate passion and profession. He never used to shy away from volunteering for missions. He was an angel and to do justice to his heart; he belonged to the ‘Hovering Angels’ unit; a unit that was his first and sadly, his last too.
2.) With over 4,000 hours of total flying experience, Dhillon was one of the most experienced helicopter pilots. His experience included 1,200 captain hours on ALH alone. Not just this, he was even an Aircrew Examiner, a Qualified Flying Instructor and an Instrument Rating Instructor and Examiner. Only a few could match up to his level. He was known to be selfless, humane, modest and a compassionate soul.
3.) Air Vice Marshal Manavendra Singh, currently the Senior Officer-in charge-Administration at HQ Eastern Air Command who was Dhillon’s first Commanding Officer when he was a young joiner in 2000 recalls, “Mandeep was one of the very bright and upcoming officers. He achieved his operational status in no time.”
He further added that Dhillon passing away was a significant loss for the unit.
4.) Besides being an outstanding officer, he was one of the most loved officers in the station. He used to make it a point to meet everyone during meets and social events.
5.) He was an avid sportsperson and an outstanding cross country runner. He was always loved by his seniors and lauded by his peers and juniors.
It is also said that he inherited his swiftness and athletic prowess from his father. His father was a National coach in Athletics.
6.) Flight Commander and Wing Commander Mudit Chaurasia said, “He had an eye for detail, was an astute visionary and always took the initiative to lead from the front.”
The ALH Dhillon unit was left numb for some time but it surely is growing now in their angelic missions, and the pilots have once again proven themselves in their missions of saving lives.
7.) Prabhpreet Kaur Dhillon, his wife, recalls their 14 years of matrimony and says, “He was a person who was very compassionate and helpful towards anyone and everyone in need.”
She says she always knew his profession was a risky one. She knew it from her father who was a retired Air Commodore.
8.) She even adds, “He was a loving husband and a great father to our daughter Sehaj and son Eshar.” Not just this but he always used to volunteer for rescue and relief missions ahead of others. His top priority was flying for flood relief or casualty evacuation. He just wanted to help others in every possible way. He also performed ‘seva’ in langars at the Gurudwara wherever possible.”
Not just this but he would always volunteer for such rescue and relief missions ahead of others. Flying for flood relief or casualty evacuation was always his top priority. All he wanted was to help others in every possible way. He also used to perform ‘seva’ in langars at the Gurudwara wherever possible.
9.) On the day of his sad demise, he had to take their daughter to the doctor for she was suffering from fever. His wife says, “That was the last conversation we shared. He said he would not be able to, as he had to go for a flood relief mission.”
And, who knew in the process of saving others life he will end up losing his own.