Wing Commander Ganta Mahendra Charles hailed from Pune district in Maharashtra. After completing his school education, he joined the prestigious National Defence Academy as part of the 175th Course. He was commissioned into the flying branch of Indian Air Force in June 2005. Wing Commander Charles got trained as a transport pilot and gained proficiency in flying various types of helicopter transport aircraft.
|Place of Birth||Pune Maharashtra|
|Unit||43 Sqd AF|
|Date of Martyrdom||3rd June 2019|
During June 2019, Wing Commander Charles was serving with 43 Sqn AF based in Air Force station Jorhat in Assam. The Sqn was operating AN-32 twin-engine turboprop transport aircraft and was undertaking various air operations including the critical logistic support operations for the army troops deployed in far-flung and inaccessible areas of the North-East. On 3rd Jun 2019, Wing Commander Charles along with his 7 other crew members was tasked with an air support operation. The crew members of the aircraft included Flt Lt Ashish Tanwar, Sq Ldr H Vinod, Flt Lt Mohit Garg, Flt Lt Sumit Mohanty, Flt Lt Rajesh Thapa, Warrant Officer KK Mishra, and Sergeant Anoop Kumar S. As per the assigned task, the aircraft was to take off from Jorhat IAF base and land at Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh. As planned the aircraft with 8 crew members and 5 passengers took off from Jorhat at 12:27 pm and lost contact with ground control at 1 pm about 33 minutes after takeoff. The aircraft eventually crashed and the wreckage of the aircraft was found near Pari hills close to Gatte village, 16 km north of Lipo in Arunachal Pradesh, at an elevation of 12,000 feet.
Wing Commander Charles was an air warrior with a dedicated career. He is survived by his wife and daughter.