An impressive valedictory function was held on December 2, 2017 at Basic Flying Training School (BFTS) in Air Force Station Bamrauli, Allahabad to mark the successful completion of flying training to 25 Army Aviators of 200th Army Pilots Course. These budding aviators went through a course of rigorous flying and ground training during the past five months.
Basic Flying Training School is a premier flying training establishment of the Indian Air Force located at Allahabad. It was established on December 16, 1987 to impart ab - initio training to pilots on HPT-32 aircraft. On July 5, 1999 the school changed its role from training Flight Cadets of Indian Air Force to training officers of the Indian Army, Navy and Coast Guard. The school was re-equipped with indigenous Chetak helicopter on December 26, 2005 for imparting ab-initio flying training to Army officers on helicopters.
Air Marshal Arvindra Singh Butola Senior Air Staff Officer Central Air Command, Indian Air Force was the reviewing officer for the valedictory function. He was received by Wing Commander Yadavendra Kumar, Commanding Officer of Basic Flying Training School, AF.
Air Marshal Arvindra Singh Butola is an alumnus of National Defence Academy and was commissioned into Helicopter stream of Indian Air Force in June 1982. He has more than 6700 flying hours to his credit on 21 different types of aircraft. In his career spanning over 35 years, the Air Marshal held a number of Command and Staff appointments that includes Commanding Officer of a front line helicopter unit in J&K, Senior Flying Instructor and Advisor to the Namibian Defence Forces, Deputy Chief Test Pilot at HAL, Station Commander of a premier Air Force base under Western Air Command, Senior Officer in charge Administration of an operational Command and Assistant Chief of Air Staff Operations (Transport and Helicopter) at Air Headquarters. The Air Marshal is also an alumnus of prestigious Defence Services Staff College and National Defence College.
During the valedictory function, Air Marshal Arvindra Singh Butola presented certificates to the graduating officers and trophies to those who excelled during the course of training. Captain Ankur Saraswat was awarded trophy for being first in Flying, Captain M Kartik Reddy for standing first in Ground Subjects and Captain Ayush Malik was awarded the trophy for Best Overall Performance. Squadron Leader Raveesh Kumar was awarded the trophy for the Best Instructor.
While addressing the gathering, Air Marshal Arvindra Singh Butola congratulated the Army officers, particularly those who have excelled and won the trophies. He praised BFTS for its rich tradition of transforming young officers into skilled aviators. While highlighting the role of these pilots in time of transforming technology in aviation, he reminded them "Military Aviators have almost no margin for Error." The Reviewing Officer also urged the officers to keep flight safety paramount and to always remember the three important Ws of aviation; Weight, Winds and Weather. He also congratulated all the ladies whose husbands have graduated emphasizing the importance of their cooperation and support as an underlying inspiration. The Air Officer lauded BFTS for having flown more than 41,600 hours since being re-equipped with indigenous Chetak Helicopters.
- Gp Capt Basantkumar B Pande