By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Veteran Test pilot and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bangalore-based HATSOFF Helicopter Training Private Ltd Wg Cdr (Retd) C D Upadhyay has quit . Sources confirmed to Express on Thursday that Upadhyay put in his papers on January 5 and will be out of HATSOFF (Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation of Flying) by the end of this month. HATSOFF is a JV of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and CAE Canada.
Sources say that Upadhyay emailed his resignation to the Board members expressing his desire to be off all activities of HATSOFF. “The CAE, while acknowledging the email thanked him for getting a world-class, leading-edge chopper training facility in Bangalore. He is now keen to share his expertise to promote helicopter industry and safe helicopter operations in India ,” sources said. He was appointed as the first CEO of HATSOFF in 2009.
HAL chairman's office told Express that Upadhyay was turning 65 years this month and hence it was a matter of days before he would have signed off from the post. An email sent to CAE's media department evoked no response. “He was informed that he could continue till March, which he rejected. There were some skirmishes over one armed forces' wing not agreeing to sent Dhruv pilots to train at HATSOFF despite repeated representations to them. He didn't budge a bit from the rulebook,” sources said.
For Upadhyay this will be the end of a hat-trick service spanning over 65 years. He commanded the Mi-8 Squadron while being with the Indian Air Force and later was the Chief Test Pilot (CTP) of HAL's rotary wing operations. “He was very much part of the design and development of Dhruv from its inception and has over 1000 hours of prototype testing experience on this helicopter. He has flown over 33 different types of aircraft and helicopters and has over 9000 hours of operational, prototype testing and instructional flying experience,” sources at HAL's Human Resources department said.
Upadhyay was not available for any comment.
Copyright@The New Indian Express