HAL Chief Test Pilot Commits Suicide

Shocking news. HAL's chief test pilot (fixed wing) and recently made Director (Corporate Planning & Marketing) Squadron Leader (Retd) Baldev Singh was found dead this morning. Possible suicide. He was apparently on holiday in Karnataka's Nandi Hills, where his body was found. More details shortly. R.I.P.

An official profile released recently: Sqn Ldr Singh took over as Director (Corporate Planning & Marketing) at HAL in August. Before that, he was Executive Director Flight Operations and the Chief Test Pilot (Fixed Wing) at HAL's Bangalore Complex.

Singh was involved with the LCA Programme from 1990 onwards and was deputed to the Aeronautical Development Agency for this purpose. On the LCA programme he worked extensively on the development and flight testing of the flight control laws of the Light Combat aircraft. He carried out the flight evaluation of these flight control laws at the Real Time simulator at BAE Wharton in UK followed by the flight evaluation of these control laws on the F-16, Lear Jet and NT-33 aircraft in the US.

Singh had extensive test flying experience on five prototype programmes and carried out the first flights of the HANSA aircraft and the Intermediate Jet Trainer. He has a Total Flight Test Experience of over 6000 hrs on over 55 different types of aircraft. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and holds a diploma in Aviation Flight Safety from the Naval Post Graduate College, Monterey Bay, California, USA.

He joined the National Defence Academy in 1970 and graduated from the academy in December 1972 and was commissioned into the Indian Air Force in June 1973 as a fighter pilot.

After doing operational flying on Hunter, MiG-21 and MiG-23 aircraft, he qualified as a Flight Instructor in July 1983, and was posted to Air Force Academy at Hyderabad for Instructional Flying Duties on the Kiran Aircraft. In 1984 he did his experimental test pilots course and was deputed to HAL in 1986. He retired from the Indian Air Force in 1989 and joined HAL.
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