The Hush Post|01:50 pm| 2-min-read
He celebrated his son Angad’s second birthday on February 20. A week later later, he’s no more. A day before, he spoke to his father for a brief 10 secs, saying he’s OK, he should take care of himself.
Squadron Leader Siddharth Vashisht was one of the pilots of the ill-fated Mi-17 helicopter that crashed at Budgam near Srinagar on Wednesday. His parents live in Sector 44, Chandigarh, where they had shifted just a year ago from Naraingarh near Ambala.
A fourth generation officer in the armed forces, 31-year-old Sqn Ldr Vashisht was commissioned in 2010. The pilot is survived by his wife, Aarti, who is also a Squadron Leader posted at Srinagar, and two-year old son Angad. Siddharth was the youngest of four siblings with three sisters.
His parents were watching the news on TV hearing about the chopper that had crashed in Budgam, with no knowledge that their son was the pilot of the aircraft.
Siddharth had his early education at Shivalik Public School in Sector 41 and thereafter at DAV College before opting to join the forces.
His father, Jagdish Kasal, had served in the Army before joining Punjab National Bank as an officer. Vashisht’s maternal uncle, Vineet Bhardwaj, was a MiG-21 pilot, who died in an air crash exactly 17 years ago, around the same date February 25.
Siddharth had been posted to a helicopter unit in Srinagar in July, 2018, before which he was posted in Coimbatore. He was part of the IAF rescue operations during the Kerala floods last year. Family members said he had received a commendation for his services in Kerala on January 26 this year.