Chennai: A Passing-out-Parade (POP) was held at the Naval Air Station Rajali, Arakkonam, to mark the graduation of the 96th Helicopter Conversion Course (HCC) on Friday adhering to all Covid safety norms.
Seven Indian Navy pilots were awarded the prestigious ‘Wings’ by Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding -in-Chief Eastern Naval Command.
The pilots underwent rigorous flying and ground training for 22 weeks at the Indian Naval Air Squadron 561, the Helicopter Training School (HTS) under strict compliance of laid down Covid protocols.
Training for 96th HCC commenced in mid-January and the trainee pilots were introduced to several nuances of helicopter flying.
The pilots underwent a challenging syllabus which includes navigation, night flying and operating over sea.
At the end of the course, the trainees are adjudged for Best in Flying, Best in Ground Subjects and Best in Overall Order of Merit.
After the ceremonial review, the Chief Guest awarded the Governor of Kerala Rolling Trophy to SLT K Pawan Raj for being adjudged as the Best All Round Trainee Pilot and the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command Rolling Trophy to LT Dhananjay Prakash Jadhav for standing first in order of merit.
A book prize was also awarded to K Pawan Raj for standing first in ground subjects. The newly qualified pilots will be appointed in various frontline operational units of the Indian Navy where they will take on varied missions such as Reconnaissance, Surveillance, SAR and anti-piracy patrols.
In its rich heritage spanning almost five decades, HTS has trained till date more than 752 pilots of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard as well as from friendly foreign nations.