Squadron Leader Samir Abrol was an avid biker before his dreams took flight as an Indian Air Force (IAF) test pilot, a rare breed. For 33-year-old Abrol, testing high-precision avionics and aircraft systems was a challenge that he bravely took on.
That passion for adventure had taken roots years before, when he rode the Royal Enfields on long journeys.
A Facebook status from a not too distant past was indicative enough: “What’s more thunderous than the roar of a jet engine? The thump of 36 Royal Enfields cruising down the highway.”
Pilot Abrol, who ejected out from the Mirage 2000, but fell to his death on Friday, left behind his wife Garima Abrol, and scores of friends who took to social media to offer their condolences.
One of them, Sparsh Mudgal, was his junior in school. He was shattered by the news of this untimely death: “He was the senior I had the utmost respect for in school,” said Mudgal. For Shivam Verma, the death was a ‘severe loss to the nation’. “It was indeed an honour knowing you in person. You were a true inspiration for all of us.”
Rakshit Madan echoed that thought when he posted: “No amount of words will do justice to your exemplary conduct as a human being and thorough professionalism.”
Squadron Leader Siddharth Negi, the other pilot who died in the crash, was also married. He was known in the IAF circles as a calm, talented aviator of great promise. One of the two pilots had his birthday on Friday, but this could not be immediately confirmed.