Squadron Leader D Pankaj was a fighter pilot serving the Indian Air Force. In 2017, he was posted to a Su-30 operating fighter squadron situated in Air Force Station, Tezpur. On May 23, 2017, at around 10.30 AM Squadron Leader Pankaj along with Flight Lieutenant Achudev took off in their Su-30 aircraft from Air Force Station Tezpur. They were flying as a part of an operational training task in a two-aircraft formation.
|Unit||11 Wing AF|
|Date of Martyrdom||23rd May 2017|
Their plane went off-radar at 11 AM near Doulasang, Arunachal Pradesh. A search operation was carried out but they found the wreckage on 26th May. Search and rescue teams initially found a blood-stained shoe, half-burnt PAN card, and a wallet of one of the two pilots. The fighter jet’s black-box was recovered later on by teams comprising the Army, the Air Force, and civil administration personnel.
Squadron Leader Pankaj was a brave air warrior and he sacrificed his life in service to the nation. He is survived by his parents, wife, and daughter.