Major Puneet Karol hailed from Himachal Pradesh and was born on 8th July 1976. He was born to Smt. Urmil Karol a retired lecturer from the government college in Solan. After completing his education, he tried to join the defense forces as he was inclined towards the forces. He got selected for National Defence Academy. Later he went to IMA, Dehradun. He passed from IMA in 1999 as a Lieutenant. He was commissioned into 210 Rocket Regt of the Regiment of Artillery. After serving for two years at Kathua in J&K as his first assignment, he was promoted as Captain and got selected to be trained as a pilot, and became part of the Army Aviation Corps.
He joined as a chopper pilot at Jalandhar after getting completing his flying at Hyderabad and Nasik. After serving for few years, he got married to Ms. Shelly in June 2003 and the couple had a daughter Saranya. In his service, Maj Puneet Karol was deputed to serve as part of the Indian Contingent in a United Nations mission in 2006-07.
During 2007, Major Puneet Karol was serving with his unit 661 Army Aviation Squadron of the Army Aviation Corps. The Squadron was operating Cheetah Helicopter. The Squadron was using Cheetah helicopter for their operational tasks. Major Puneet, was tasked with one such mission on 24 May 2007 along with his co-pilot Lt Col Praveen. On 24th May 2007, Maj Puneet Karol along with Lt Col Cunha took off in their Cheetah SA-315 for the assigned reconnaissance mission. Their mission was to fly off from Jalandhar to Karcham, located in the tribal district of Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh. The Karcham area had various Hydroelectric Projects going on with high-voltage electricity wires being a common site between mountains. Around 11 am while flying over Karcham, the helicopter lost control and lost contact with the Air Traffic Control. Lt Col Cunha and Maj Puneet being experienced pilots, tried landing at the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam’s (SJVNL) helipad. However, while doing so, the rotors of the helicopter got entangled in high voltage wires spanning across two Rocky Mountains and caught fire. This separated the helicopter from the rotor and the chopper crashed into a hill and exploded. Lt Col Cunha and Maj Puneet Karol could not survive the crash and unfortunately, lost their lives.
Maj Puneet Karol is survived by his mother Smt. Urmil Karol, wife Mrs. Shelly, and daughter Saranya.