December 6, 2023

From the movie "Border", Actor Jackie Shroff with a Hawker Hunter in the Background, in a reconstruction of the Longewala Battle
From time to time, One comes across some vague sightings in Movies.

In 1991, a Television programme "Param Vir Chakra" produced by veteran war film producer "Chetan Anand" , showcased dramatisation of the battles and incidents of India's Highest Gallantry Award Winners. In its final episode about Late Fg Off Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon PVC, The episode reenacted the airbattle over Srinagar in which Sekhon singlehandedly took on Six F-86 Sabres in his Gnat. The "Sabres" were   played by Hawker Hunters of Hunter Operational Flying Training Unit-HOFTU garishly sporting the Pakistani Flag under the cockpit.

The producer of the TV Serial was lucky that No.2 was still flying the Ajeets. So film shooting took place in October 1990 at Kalaikunda, from where the HOFTU also operated. Some excellent air to air footage of the Ajeet was filmed from a Hunter trainer.  Shot down aircraft were represented by actors playing dead in the cockpit of a derelict Sukhoi-7 lying in tall grass outfields.  No idea as to where the derelict Sukhoi was from, but is assumed as being from Kalaikunda, as the film shooting took place there. Six months later, the Ajeet’s of No.2 Squadron were struck off, the last of them being flown to the Palam Air Force Museum.  I have a VHS tape recorded from the original telecast. However as it is lying unviewed for the past seven years, I am skeptical if the tape is still working!

The Movie Vijeta produced by noted film actor Shashi Kapoor , picturised the life of a fictitious fighter pilot Angad Singh. The movie , shot in the AFA Dundigal and other environs, has fantastic footage of HJT-16 Kiran training, and MiG-21s. For a filmscene showing an emergency landing by a MiG-21 overshooting the runway, a MiG-21 airframe (probably Derelict) was set on fire at the end of the runway. No info as to which airfield this was filmed in or where the burned wreck is.

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