All stories by Air Commodore NITIN SATHE (Retd)
MiG 25: The Fighter who Shot DifferentlyRediff.com6 Jun 2022
'Windows shook and rattled, and the thunderous growl of the engines doused even the sound of our noisy helicopter till such time the plane had lifted itself into the skies and disappeared from view.'
Kargil: How MiG-25 Played A Special RoleRediff.com6 Jun 2022
'All enemy positions lay exposed, providing immense information to the Indian Army and IAF to conduct successful flushing out operations.'
Deoghar Disaster: IAF's Mission ImpossibleRediff.com29 Apr 2022
'Imagine hanging from a thin steel cable under a helicopter with certain death staring at you below, being pulled up slowly in the din and downwash of the helicopter.' IAF Veteran Air Commodore Nitin Sathe, a helicopter pilot himself, reports on how the air force rescued those trapped in the Deoghar cable cars disaster last fortnight.
'It was full of danger and we knew we were playing with our lives'Rediff.com29 Apr 2022
'Me and my boys had never ever thought in our wildest dreams that we would be taking part in a rescue mission of this kind.' IAF Veteran Air Commodore Nitin Sathe, a helicopter pilot himself, reports on how the air force rescued those trapped in the Deoghar cable cars disaster last fortnight.
Happy 60th To The Chetak And HTS!Rediff.com2 Apr 2022
'As I set course for the Helicopter Training School this morning,' notes IAF Helicopter Veteran Air Commodore Nitin Sathe, 'I bow my head in respect for the institution which made me the man I am.' 'I also salute the Chetak which taught me much more than flying.' 'Both these institutions, in their own right, justify the crest and motto of the School: Achievement through Knowledge.'
'You can kill me if you want'Rediff.com19 Mar 2022
'They asked me if I was a devout Muslim and if I could recite the Kalma.' Flying Officer Jawahar Lal Bhargava knew his game was up. 'They threatened me with dire consequences if I didn't tell the truth.'
'I didn't want to be shot by my friends'Rediff.com19 Mar 2022
IAF Flying Officer Jawahar Lal Bhargava was forced to stayed in the POW camp at Rawalpindi for the year that followed only to be released in December 1972.
'I have been hit!'Rediff.com23 Feb 2022
Air Commodore Jawahar Lal Bhargava recalls how he ejected from his failing aircraft in Pakistan during the 1971 War.
Captured in PakistanRediff.com25 Jan 2022
'My relationship with the Pataudi family was to help me to survive in 1971.'
'Know your limits and the limits of the aircraft'Rediff.com15 Dec 2021
Sometimes it is the man behind the machine who makes mistakes, sometimes it is the machine which does so, and sometimes it is a combination of both and some other factors that leads to an accident, notes Helicopter pilot IAF Veteran Air Commodore Nitin Sathe.
A 1971 War Hero You Must KnowRediff.com14 Dec 2021
'I realised what a great leader he was by the way he took decisions to undertake the most-risky of missions.'
How the Bangladesh Air Force was bornRediff.com10 Dec 2021
'Overnight, the Chetak had new markings and thereafter flew on the call sign, Echo-Bravo-Romeo.' 'By all accounts, this was the first aircraft of the Bangladesh Air Force.'
When a fighter pilot prepares to fly...Rediff.com11 Nov 2021
What does a fighter pilot feel as he takes off and lands his battle-ready aircraft? Air Commodore Nitin Sathe (retd) takes you through those emotions.
1971 War: Living To Fly Another DayRediff.com6 Oct 2021
'You are to train three Bangladeshi pilots to fly this Chetak helicopter. Your task begins now.'
IAF Will Touch The Sky With Further GloryRediff.com30 Sep 2021
Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, who will head the IAF from October 1, will keep our fighting capabilities sharpened and operationally ready for conflict at all times, notes Air Commodore Nitin Sathe (retd).
Salute This Hero of the 1971 War!Rediff.com15 Jun 2021
'Our men had suffered so much pain for the independence of other people in a foreign land.'
1971 War: A brave Dakota pilot's contributionRediff.com14 Jun 2021
'We flew all missions in the first part of the war at low levels; that is at 300 to 500 feet above the ground.' 'These sorties were no doubt stressful since the pilots and crew had to look out for birds and obstructions as well as enemy gunfire.'
1971 War: Meet War Hero 'Keen Kumar'Rediff.com25 Mar 2021
'We airlifted army personnel wearing lungis to generally unused landing grounds.' 'We were told to keep quiet about what we did or saw.'
When the IAF trained Pakistani pilots!Rediff.com17 Feb 2021
Air Commodore Nitin Sathe discovers how the IAF trained Pakistani air force pilots, during the 1971 War, which led to the birth of the Bangladesh air force.
'Gentlemen, we are at war!'Rediff.com19 Jan 2021
'I propose to finish it soon, but till then you all will ensure that we strike hard at our enemy.' 'I will not accept any shortcomings or cowardice.'