ibnlive » India

Jun 06, 2012 at 11:14am IST

Parents set up flying school after losing son in MIG-21 crash

Pune: Captain Anil Gadgil and his wife Kavita Gadgil have set up a flying school with India's first mobile flight simulator. They took up the task after losing their 27-year-old son Abhijit in a MIG-21 crash.

But Abhijit's death didn't dampen the spirits of his heart-broken parents. Together they set up the Abhijit Air Safety Foundation in 2002 to ensure that other promising lives do not meet the same fate.

Abhijit Air Safety Foundation Chairperson Kavita Gadgil says, "I see other Abhijits and don't want many to suffer the fate of our son."

The Gadgils fought hard to make the government sit up, take notice and accept the many technical failures and inadeqaute safety measures in MIG-21s. Following their continuous efforts, some key changes were made which brought down pilot casualties from 12 a year to just three to four. That was the encouragement that the Gadgils needed.

In order to diligently reach out to young trainee pilots 24*7, the Gadgils decided to re-locate their home and their institution in one space. The unique aspect of their institution is that it houses India's first and only mobile flight simulator.

For the couple, Abhijit's death left a void. But strength, perseverance and the Abhijit Air Foundation has helped the Gadgils deal with their loss.