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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 24 Sep 2012
Tejas Kawale Win Sword of Honour

Flying Officer Tejas Kawale (21), a young man from Karvenagar, bagged the prestigious sword of honour at the Air Force Academy (AFA) in Dundigal, Hyderabad, on Saturday. He was presented with the sword by the nonagenarian Marshal of the Indian Air Force, Arjan Singh.

Tejas Kawale Win Sword of Honour

Tejas, who trained as a fighter pilot, won seven prizes at the passing-out-parade of the AFA, including the president’s plaque for standing first in the overall order of merit.
Seated comfortably on a sofa at his home in Karvenagar in western Pune, the razor-sharp Tejas said he was happy to have fulfilled his childhood dream of flying. "As a 5-year-old, I wished to fly an aircraft, any aircraft. I am extremely happy that I am joining the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot," he said.
But as the university administration concentrated on getting the results of undergraduate programmes out, postgraduate examination scripts were neglected.

Born to banker parents and with no family background in the armed forces, Tejas’ run-up to becoming a fighter pilot has been an exhilarating one. An alumnus of Sainik School, Satara, Tejas stood second in the all-India merit list for the National Defence Academy (NDA) in 2007. He also finished a creditable second in both the science stream and the air force merit list at the NDA.
Joining the AFA in Dundigal in June 2010, Tejas said his goal was to become a fighter pilot and also win the sword of honour. By his own admission, he did not leave any stone unturned. "I worked very hard to attain my goals. I did all my tasks diligently, whether it was flying or ground training. I concentrated on time management and did a lot of home work everysingle evening. This approach paid rich dividends," he said with a smile.

The young trainee fighter pilot counts his first solo flight on a Kiran Mk-I jet trainer as the most exhilarating experience so far. "It was October 26, 2010, when I went on my first solo flight. There is absolutely no better feeling. Just the thrill of taking the jet up and bringing her back safely is very exhilarating."
Tejas, who heads for Bidar in Karnataka to train on the Hawk fighter jets for a year, said the Kargil operations in 1999 and his interactions with his seniors from the Sainik School, Satara, motivated him to become an Indian Air Force fighter pilot.
Asked whether he would like to fly the Sukhoi MkIs, Tejas said, "I will fly any fighter that I am selected to fly. I have no particular choice. It is simply not in my hands."

Courtesy: DNA India

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