On a hot Saturday afternoon in the comfort of an air conditioned conference room (BAR) pilots were waxing eloquently on the many flying aspects of the MARUT. One particular asset being discussed was the ferry speed being the fastest in the world. Cheetah and Bobcat were leaving in a few days to drop off two Maruts at Bangalore for Major Servicing. Bobcat said he would be back the same day by civil air in Jodhpur. The wager was on. All participants of the wager swore on the Official Secrets Act that the wager would be Top Secret.

 To keep everybody in the loop, the following were the obvious.

Sunrise 0530 Hours.

First take off 0600 Hours

Ferry Time Jodhpur – Poona 60 minutes

Turn around servicing at Poona with 1 Bowser and four ground crew and one starting trolley 60 minutes.

Ferry time Poona Bangalore 60 minutes.

Indian Airlines flight Bangalore to Bombay 0830 Hours, connection Bombay to Jodhpur 1230 Hours.

Bobcat and Cheeta caught the 0830 Hours flight from Bangalore on the same day of the ferry out. Cheeta broke journey at Bombay to catch up with his Bollywood friends and Bobcat made it back to Jodhpur the same day.

Bobcat informed the loosing gamblers to pay up.

Cheeta would take the authorized 7 day ferry sojourn.

 Bobcat was snoring the next day at 0700 hours at his residence,when he was rudely awakened by loud banging at the door.The tallest Flying Officer Marut Pilot( Air Marshal To-day) was at the door to inform him that the Boss wants him pronto in the outfit. Bobcat was given a dressing down and the book was thrown at him for not coming to work on time. The Boss then made the fatal mistake of asking if Bobcat had anything to say in his defence.

Bobcat informed him that the authorized ferry lay over was 7 days and so he said he would like to utilize the same.

Rumour has it that the Boss went into a  ballistic malfunction and injured his equilibrium.

Many national news papers reported mysterious loud double bangs  in the skies over  5 States.

Sam and Keru the perfect pair!






© Copyright Sam Sekhar and Marutfans. All rights reserved. Reproduction or distribution of this article in any form without the express written permission of the author is prohibited.


10 Responses to Sam Sekhar’s KAHANIS FROM THE MARUT HANDI – IV

  1. Dara says:

    Received on email from Sam in reply to all queries on this story:

    “Dear Readers and fellow Marut Fellows,

    Batra, The aircraft we ferried were the D series and no they were not modified with “THE FLUX CAPACITORS” and so we could not go back to “THE PAST” (Readers please refer the movie Back To The Future and the invention of DOC the genius scientist.A Car called DELORIEN which Marty Micheal J Fox drives}

    I am quite confident that my fellow Marut aviators could and would perform the same ferry in the given time with the right incentive of a wager.

    First order of the day sign, 50 full scape blank sheets.This looks after the handing over and taking over ceremony of the aircraft.

    Contact “RED EYE” Reddy at HAL Bangalore {“THE CHIEF ENGINEER RECEIVING THE AIRCRAFT FOR MAJOR SERVICING.} Request him to position one Ambassador Car and be available at the tarmac from 0730 hours to receive two Maruts.100 blank signed sheets would be handed to him for the two Maruts.

    Inform INDIAN AIRLINES and Captain Sathish Kholi, the Commander of the I A C Avro from Bangalore to Bombay to ensure two IAF pilots get on board the flight. Delay the flight if required. Those of us from 97th Pilots Course remember Flight Cadet Sathish Kohli who was terminated from Pilot Training Establishment Allahabad for not having Pilot Like Qualities. In six years he was a COMMANDER of an AVRO in the I A C.

    RED EYE REDDY was very helpful and used his full PATHI (Influence) to ensure we would board the flight. All this was possible due to the GOOD public relations of the fearless leader CHEETAH.

    A team of Maharashtrian technicians were on permanent temporary duty at Number 2 WING. A.F. Their sole job was to do the TRS of the Maruts that passed by occasionally, may be once in two months. The home town of all these technicians was Poona!

    BOBCAT, who was also the adjutant of the DAGGER outfit, called the Sargent of the TRS TEAM and gave him his ORDERS. He was to ensure the full team was on the ATC Tarmac at 0600 Hours. Two fuel Bowsers which were equipped with TWIN REFUELING HOSES to be on the Tarmac at 0600 hours.The starting trolley was to be charged fully and then some more at precisely 0615 hours. Two oxygen cylinders were to be positioned at 0600 hours. The TRS team would be helped with four extra hands of BOBCAT and CHETAH with the refueling. The team had to check and triple check that all the tools were available and in good working condition. They had to do the TRS of the two aircraft as if “DEMON POSSESSED”. The TRS was to be done in 15 minutes.

    The adjutant who was also called “ATTILA THE HUN” informed the Sargent that any mistake in delay longer than 15 minutes would evoke “THE WRATH OF KHAN” and he would personally ensure and arrange through AFRO for the transfer of the full TRS CREW to the SAICHEN GLACIER AIR FORCE DETACHMENT for the rest of their illustrious careers. Last but not the least he informed the Sargent to ensure to open the gun belt compartment on the spine of his aircraft during the TRS and collect their Christmas presents. Four bottles of XXX RUM.

    The ATC officer was requested that a through clearance was ready by 0500 hours.The underground bunker in New Delhi which housed the office of the AIR DEFENCE CLEARANCE UNIT was contacted and the LAC on duty with great reluctance gave out the secret number and told Bobcat “Saar this number will expire by 0900 Hours, and please get airborne in time.” Bobcat replied “we shall be on our way by that time.”

    CHEETAH was from 31 squadron and BOBCAT from 10 squadron and the ferry was on 07 March 1979, Bobcat’s Aircraft D 1221.

    I believe two pilots from two squadrons could ferry together albeit with individual call signs.

    The two squadron S T O’S were duly included in the Communist Plot and were told that HISTORY was being made in Fastest Ferry Time In The World. These two officers were GUNG HO and indicated that they would park both aircraft on the apron of the take off dumbell with brand new main and nose wheel tyres to cater for the short stop landings.

    Chetah and Bobcat do a section take off using individual call signs at exactly 0600 Hours.
    Level off at ferry cruise height and maintain power at 97% R P M.
    Speed builds up to .96 Mach. Maintain Speed.
    On Mark from Chetah at 20 minutes from take off, dip noses by 1/2 degrees and open throttles to 100%.
    As both aicraft go sonic manipulate throttles and the nose to maintain Mach1.
    As you get down in altitude the aircraft gets more stable.
    Fly over Poona and peel off and finals.
    Round off on the undershoot and throttles back and as you fly over the barrier switch the left engine off.
    Touch down and use brakes judiciously.
    Taxy to A T C dispersal/parking area and switch off.
    Flight time 49 minutes and taxy time 06 minutes.
    You are greeted by two fuel bowsers, two oxygen trolleys/ one starter trolley and FOUR TRS Technicians.
    Both pilots make the ejection seat safe and get down the ladders and on to the refueling hoses.
    All six do the T R S as if RAVANA was on their backs.
    The form 700 is ready and the pilots sign while strapping up and the total elapsed time is 14 minutes and 42 seconds. Bobcat looks at the Sargent and the three technicians and asks with four fingers if collected. All four indicate four fingers with the left hand and thumbs up with the right hand. The Christmas presents are in safe hands. The flashing smiles and the big grins say it all.

    Touch down in POONA 0647 HOURS.Taxy time 8 minutes
    T R S 15 minutes. 0710 Hours
    Start up taxy and take off 10 minutes. Time 0720 Hours.
    This time the throttles remain at 100 % all the way.
    Touch down Bangalore 40 minutes later. Time 0800.
    Taxy in and switch off 5 minutes. Time 0805 Hours.
    Met by Red Eye Reddy and one more engineer. All jump in the ambassador. Money and tickets exchange hands. The car crosses the runway and both pilots check in and board immediately in overalls. Red Eye Reddy confirmed with the Honor Of The Marut Empire in Gratitude.

    Chetah lays over and Bobcat heads home arriving in Jodhpur at 1715 Hours the same day.

    Chetah was commissioned on 31 Dec 1967.

    Bobcat was commissioned on 04 June 1967.

    Dear BATRAJI did you get the bit about the FLUX CAPACITOR.

    Air Marshal Ramdas, Sir, I have delayed revealing the names of all participants just to peek every one’s interest. I shall reveal after 24 hours from the time the Kahanis hit the press. If that is okay and if not I will reveal on the same day

    We salute the Best engineers. Air Marshal Ramdas/S K Singh/Francis/Atavle/Maine and others whose names I am at a loss due to seniority in age. The good serviceability maintained in the Marut fleet by their efforts gave many of us the 4 figure numbers on the Marut. Folks raise your glass and SALUTE these Stalwarts.THANK YOU GENTLEMEN.
    It appears that I am not the only one with AMNESIA.

    Tall Man Ravi Burli.

    S K sir I trust this a long enough explanation to my Kahani.

    Group Captain Bhargava Sir I trust this clarifies your grey areas.You are a STAR CELEBRITY in one of the following Kahanis. Heads up please.


  2. Shashi says:

    Great going, Bobcat Sam!!! You must have really bent the throttles in cruising at faster than the official .9M. More power to you.
    In one of my earlier responses, I had suggested that you should make a compendium of the names of the protagonists in your stories. You owe it to posterity.
    As regards “Cheetah’s” propensity for the luscious 49.89% of our population, his real name was an easy guess!!!

  3. sk says:

    I say Sam, very interesting episodes,Two suggestions.could you elaborate your Tales a little more ? Good old spices wouldnt hurt, and i suuppose no harm in knowing the identity of the personne in your riveting ‘Yarns”. And please dont stop !!

  4. Mini says:

    I plead ‘not guilty’! I am not the boss under reference. Please look elsewhere for the ‘boss’.BTW Cheetah Keru never served under me at 10 Sqn; he was a two-twentyer I believe, whereas Bobcat Sam did. But then Sam probably served under the towering Dinky Jatar too who took over 10 Sqn from me on 11 Dec ’79. Dinky’s height was such that I had to literally ‘look up’ to him. He probably was taller than Ravi.

  5. batrasc says:

    Am I missing something..

    0600 t/o Jodh 0700 land pune
    0700 t0 0800 refueling etc…
    0800 t/o Pune 0900 land B’lore
    some time for h/o t/o etc.
    cannot catch flight at 0830 but use time machine
    back in time space machine to catch 0830 flt for Mumbai…

  6. Gp Capt Kapil Bhargava (Retd) says:

    Nice little tale! Enjoyed it. But I request that out of consideration for ancient relics like me, nicknames may please be accompanied with better identification.

    I have a doubt on Dara’s comment – a sneaking suspicion that Winco Dinky Jatar was taller than the Air Marshal. But having seen them 37 years apart, I cannot be sure. Does anyone have a confirmation either way?

    • Dara says:

      Kapil Sir,

      I do believe Dinky Jatar was the taller but the key in this story was Tallest Marut ‘Flying Officer’.

      Bobcat is Sam Sekhar the author, Cheetah is KR Singh (Keru) and if I am not wrong they were both Flt Lts when CKK Menon was Commanding.

  7. Dara says:

    No prizes for guessing the tallest Marut Flying Officer – Ravi.

    Boss Man – Minnie Menon

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