14 June 2019
Bhubaneswar: My son died serving the nation, said a heartbroken but proud father of martyred Odia IAF pilot Sunit Mohanty. Flight Lieutenant Sunit along with 12 others were killed in An-32 aircraft that crashed in Arunachal Pradesh on June 3.
"I loved Air Force. So did my son. Every one should be proud of our soldiers and pray for their well being. My son died while serving the nation on duty. He was a true soldier dedicated for the service of the nation," said retired IAF Group Captain Surendranath Mohanty, Sunit's father.
Born on 7 Nov, 1990 at Military hospital in Chennai, Sunit's love for the Air Force began from his childhood. He saw his father serving the nation from a young age and got acquainted with the lifestyle. As per his father's transfer, Sunit jumped places and was schooled in various cities like Agra, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Kota and Delhi. He completed his B.Tech degree from NIT Jamshedpur and was commissioned as a flying pilot in 2014.
"He was a smart and well mannered boy who was loved and liked by all," added his father. The Mohanty family hails from Baliapalli village under Kabisuryanagar block of Ganjam district. They are now settled in the National Capital.
On June 3, Sunit was on-board the Russian origin An-32 aircraft that had taken off from Assam’s Jorhat for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh but went off the radar 35 miutes later. After the incident, Surendranath Mohanty, who has flown the An-32 himself for 5-6 years said, "It is an old design and needs to be replaced as it has several structural defects. Many accidents have happened and several families have been destroyed due to the aircraft. I was lucky but, luck may not favour everyone.”
The flight's wreckage was found on June 11 while the bodies of the crew members and the black box was found on June 13. As Indian Air Force confirmed that there were no survivors in the crash, a proud father bid an emotional farewell to his son.