Pakistan Air Force pilot sacrifices himself to save lives of hundreds of university students

Featured Image: PAFNP Blogspot

A Cessna T-37 of the PAF. Credits: JetPhotos

On the 22nd of January, 2008, a Pakistan Air Force Cessna T-37 Tweet was on a routine training flight. It had taken off from the PAF base in Risalpur for a routine sortie. When it reached the region near the Tarbela Dam, the T-37 developed a technical fault. The person flying the sortie was Pilot Officer Raja Jehanzeb. As soon as the fault developed, the pilot was given orders to eject the aircraft and save his life. He refused the order because the aircraft was on a collision path with buildings in a technological university in the outskirts of Topi, a city near the Tarbela Dam. To prevent the loss of life on the ground, the pilot decided to stay in the airplane and crash land it instead.

Pilot Officer Raja Jehanzeb managed to crash land the aircraft in an open area in the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute (the university). The high speed impact however, caused an explosion. The pilot was killed as he saved hundreds of students on campus. Unfortunately, debris from the airplane hit one person and he too, died.

Pilot Officer Raja Jehanzeb awarded the Tamgha-e-Basalat (Medal of Good Conduct). He could have safely ejected but chose not to and sacrificed himself for the others on the ground.

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