Some extracts of my book

Written by Alok Mohan on March 26, 2022. Posted in Uncategorized

During end 1988. I joined a PTA squadron for AE duties & got appointed as Squadron Cdr (by CS). The position was vacant as the previous officer was highly depressed due adverse serviceability state of aircraft & had died in a road accident. Probably he was depressed as he was unable to handle pressures of service. The squadron had six pilotless target aircraft and all aircraft were grounded/unfit for flying due want of few Critical items like Altitude Hold Unit, Booster career, Carburettor etc.

M/S Northrop (OEM) had stopped manufacturing the PTAs & the aircraft had become obsolete. I joined the squadron & checked the serviceability status of PTAs. I was informed that the aircraft were unserviceable due shortage of critical items.

I advised squadron maintenance staff that Altitude Hold Unit is not required as we have various other means to check altitude of aircraft.. We may fly the Aircraft directly why to use this unit.

We may therefore modify the electric circuit and by pass AHU. The plan worked & we could hold altitude of aircraft from ground without the use of AHU.

Simmilarly, I advised to retrieve Booster Career, another critical item, from Sea. We designed a Booster Career Retrieval System.

(We had only two careers, which we could use repeatedly after every launch, with the modification)

We used carburetor of ground equipment & used it on PTAs.

With these modifications, we were able to make all six PTAs serviceable & got prepared to meet annual flying task of the squadron.

Consequent to transfer of one officer, I was assigned additional duty of Second Line Servicing Hangar of islander aircraft. These Aircraft were flying with Weight penalty as approved by aviation authorities.. I asked the Foreman about the reason for this weight penalty. He informed me that A high level HAL Bangalore technical committee has decided to fly Aircraft with this Weight penalty as Aircraft Engines had become old. The engines were not producing adequate power to get adequate Rate of Climb.

I asked him about next Aircraft coming for Check Test Flight. To this he replied that ROC of the Aircraft was low and we have to clear the Aircraft with Weight penalty. I instructed him to check if there is any play in the Elevators and Trim Tabs. He discovered that there was a play. I asked him to perform Aircraft Control Rigging and Correct the play on control surfaces.. After this we again sent the Aircraft for Check Test Flight. To our surprise Rate of Climb of Aircraft, reached its Designed level. There after we started repairing all other Aircraft one by one & achieved the desired results.

(However some senior officers at HQ, tried to put a theory that the ROC of aircraft had improved due to introduction of some new Paint Scheme, suggested by them. Presumably he was able to convince authorities that the paint had improved aerodynamic attributes of the aircraft. While truth was that

Elevator play had been giving nose down attitude to the Aircraft. In spite of the fact that Engines were producing enough power Aircraft was not climbing due to Nose Down attitude.

(But head quarters believed the story which suited them)

However I was happy that that this miracle had made all Islander aircraft, flying without any weight penality.. I accomplished this within one month of joining the hangar temporarily in absence of the appointed AEO.

After all PTAs were earlier made serviceable, we received orders to board a ship for participating in exercises at Visakhapatnam. As my Wife was pregnant and was expecting second child. No one was near her. I could not take chances as earlier case of our first child delivery, she had a breach child and some how she could survive on earlier occassion. While she was in a state of emergency during the birth of my first child, ther was no doctor available to look after her. She was saved by timely action of a nursing officer.

As my wife was very weak and therefore I asked for a few days leave to look after her and my leave request was granted.

My squadron moved to Visakhapatnam on board a ship for exercise. I could not accompany the squadron staff, due obvious reasons.

The ship lost one PTA in Vizag as they had flown the aircraft in adverse weather conditions. ENC ordered a Board of Inquiry. I was asked to appear as witness.

I had neither, presented Aircraft for flying as a Technical Officer Nor had I flown the Aircraft. I knew that there was no need for my advice as I was, 1000 KMS away from the site at the time of flying of PTA, My witness had no meaning.

I was asked to read some old entries in F A700 by BOI President. I read it was written

“Aircraft Defuelled and Trade man, Supervisors, etc had signed ( The entry was also cleared by some other technical officer)

He told me that the Aircraft was not defueled that day and I was fooling the board). As this stupid statement had no meaning to me, I told the BOI president that ten months old entry “Fuelling/Defuelling of Aircraft” has no meaning as far as this particular loss was concerned.

(Ms Northrop America had also confirmed later on that old fuelling defuelling activities do not affect flying worthiness of PTAs)

He replied that this was not my business to state that. After I returned my Unit I received a letter of Severe displeasure by CNS stating that I had tried to confuse the Board by making a false statement I was held responsible for the aircraft loss,

A loss wherein, I had no direct or indirect involvement.

I was handed over a letter of severe displeasure by CNS in presence of Commodore Superintendent (NAY) & CO Garuda. I was asked to sign the letter as having read it. I signed under protest with a sketch pen. In fact, my signatures were so big that it covered the complete page including the Admiral’s signatures. I could see the hands of the senior officers shaking in fear. I assured them that they need not worry.

After one week the Commanding Officer Garuda called me once again along with the CS. In fact, the Admiral (CNS) was furious after seeing the “larger than life signatures” The Chief of the Naval Staff had taken it as a direct offense.

This time, I was now to be logged in Ships logbook after the contents of this punishment order, read out to me,

I was again asked to sign. I picked up the pen to sign. CS thought I shall repeat the previous act. He caught my hand and requested me to not to sign the way I signed earlier. He covered the complete page with his hands and left a small space on the page for me to sign. I had no option but to sign at the available space with the pen provided by them.

I was therefore punished twice for an offense, which I had never committed.

I had desired that my creative work at PTA squadron & Islander aircraft was appreciated.

But unfortunately, I worked at a place where credits had got shifted to the undeserving, while blames were being thrown on the shoulders of a few targeted individuals like me.

Alok Mohan

The admin, Alok Mohan, is a graduate mechanical engineer & possess following post graduate specializations:- M Tech Mechanical Engineering Production Engineering Marine engineering Aeronautical Engineering Computer Sciences Software Engineering Specialization He has authored several articles/papers, which are published in various websites & books. Studium Press India Ltd has published one of his latest contributions “Standardization of Education” as a senior author in a book along with many other famous writers of international repute. Alok Mohan has held important positions in both Govt & Private organisations as a Senior professional & as an Engineer & possess close to four decades accomplished experience. As an aeronautical engineer, he ensured accident incident free flying. As leader of indian team during early 1990s, he had successfully ensured smooth induction of Chukar III PTA with Indian navy as well as conduct of operational training. As an aeronautical engineer, he was instrumental in establishing major aircraft maintenance & repair facilities. He is a QMS, EMS & HSE consultant. He provides consultancy to business organisations for implimentation of the requirements of ISO 45001 OH & S, ISO 14001 EMS & ISO 9001 QMS, AS 9100, AS9120 Aero Space Standards. He is a qualified ISO 9001 QMS, ISO 14001 EMS, ISO 45001 OH & S Lead Auditor (CQI/IRCA recognised certification courses) & HSE Consultant. He is a qualified Zed Master Trainer & Zed Assessor. He has thorough knowledge of six sigma quality concepts & has also been awarded industry 4, certificate from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Knowledge Hub Training Platform  He is a Trainer, a Counselor, an Advisor and a Competent professional of cross functional exposures. He has successfully implimented requirements of various international management system standards in several organizations. He is a dedicated technocrat with expertise in Quality Assurance & Quality Control, Facility Management, General Administration, Marketing, Security, Training, Administration etc. He is a graduate mechanical engineer with specialization in aeronautical engineering. He is always eager to be involved in imparting training, implementing new ideas and improving existing processes by utilizing his vast experience.