Flying Dolphin – How a Former Indian Navy Submarine Certified as a Business Pilot


New Delhi: In December 2021, Lieutenant Commander Vivek Choudhary (Retd) grew to become the primary former submariner of the Indian Navy to turn into a business pilot – a feat that earned him a spot within the Asia Ebook of Information.

Former naval officer who achieved this place on Wednesday title He was honored for his achievement by the Chief of the Naval Workers, Admiral R Hari Kumar, of “Grandmaster” after changing into “the world’s first submariner” to turn into a pilot.

“This dolphin is now flying within the sky,” Choudhary informed ThePrint.

Submarines within the Indian Navy are also known as dolphins due to their insignia.

Born and introduced up in Delhi, Choudhary, who’s at the moment the Head of Operations Heart and Techniques Automation at Reliance Retail Restricted, lives in Mumbai, India. Accomplished highschool within the capital after which went to Haryana to do mechanical engineering. After commencement, he enlisted within the Indian Navy by his Quick Service Fee in 2007, retiring from service in 2017.

From 2007-2009, he served within the govt department of the Navy and have become a submariner in 2009.

What’s it wish to dwell underwater? “In a submarine, for 10-15 days, life passes between the slim passages of ships and the hustle and bustle of the machines within the partitions,” he informed ThePrint. “On common, a submarine is 75 p.c narrower than a ship. There may be minimal contact with life above sea degree.”

What made him resolve to turn into a pilot? It was a childhood dream, however monetary constraints prevented him from fulfilling it, he mentioned.

“The Navy gave me a chance to serve the nation and after the service gave me a chance to pursue this ardour,” Chowdhury mentioned.


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Service in Russian Kilo-class submarines

After two years with the Government Department of the Navy, Chowdhury opted to serve in submarines.

“For this, we underwent rigorous and intense coaching for eight months in Visakhapatnam. We have been taught technical and non-technical abilities to serve and survive 350 meters underwater in Visakhapatnam,” mentioned Chaudhary.

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Choudhury served in three Russian Kilo class submarines from 2010 to 2016: first on INS Sindhughosh, a diesel-electric submarine, then INS Sindhushastra, and eventually, INS Sindhukirti.

He mentioned that on a median submarine journey lasts for 5-10 days. He mentioned that within the absence of a window and being fully minimize off from the skin world, the realities turn into skewed. It is usually scorching on board, because the temperature will rise to 45-50 °C.

He mentioned that regardless of being submerged within the sea, water is a scarce useful resource and officers and sailors don’t bathe to guard it.

“The longest and most difficult voyage was on INS Sindhushastra. Touring from Mumbai to Visakhapatnam, we have been beneath water for 45 days,” mentioned Chaudhary.

Journey to Retirement, IIM-A, and Pilot’s License

After retiring in 2017, Choudhary went to the Indian Institute of Administration, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) for a grasp’s diploma in enterprise administration and ultimately labored at Fortis Healthcare in Gurugram.

On the identical time he determined to meet his childhood dream.

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“After I began at Fortis, the will to be within the sky remained. So I made a decision to take flight lessons on weekends whereas working at Fortis,” mentioned Chaudhary.

From 2018 to 2020, Choudhary used to come back to Fortis Gurugram from 9-5 on weekdays after which journey about 300 km to Chandigarh to study flying.

In September 2020, his weekly onerous work paid off: he was given a business license to fly an ATR by Directorate Common of Civil Aviation (DGCA) ATR is a French-Italian plane producer that makes plane with turboprop engines. Chaudhary has experience in flying ATR 600 plane.

“Primarily, the sensation of fulfilling my childhood ardour is kind of an achievement for me. Being the primary dolphin to fly – makes it much more particular,” mentioned Chaudhary.

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)


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