Days from now Wing Commander Prashant Joshi would have commanded the squadron of the C-130 J aircraft that he had flown for over 1,000 hours, and had inducted into the Indian Air Force’s transport fleet three years ago. On Friday, the same aircraft resulted in his death.
Joshi is survived by his wife Retired Squadron Leader Anita Joshi — a transport pilot herself, and two sons — Ajinkya, 8, and Akhil, 2.
At their residence in Viman Nagar, Wing Commander (retd) S U Apte, a fighter pilot and Joshi’s father-in-law said, “He was cleared for promotion and would have taken over as the Commanding Officer of the C-130 J squadron. Three years ago, Prashant was posted in the US where he was trained on the C-130 J. He was the Flight Commander of the aircraft- the second in command after the CO of the squadron and inducted the aircraft in India. He used to praise the C-130 J a lot.”
He added that Joshi had also received the Chief of Staff (CoS) commendation in 2012 and a C-in-C commendation earlier. He was also a flying instructor and had a Transport Combat License (TCL).
A graduate from NDA, Khadakwasla, Joshi, a resident of Aundh, was commissioned into the transport wing of the IAF in 1995. Son of Group captain (retd) Ashok Joshi, Prashant’s was a family of IAF officials. Married to Anita, a Short Service Officer of the transport wing of the IAF in 2001, the two had served together in IAF’s An-32 aircraft squadron. “They got married in 2001 and were posted at Jorhat, Bangalore, Agra. Anita retired in 2009 and was flying with Kingfisher,” Apte said.
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“Anita spoke to Prashant on Thursday and was supposed to fly to Hindon as their son’s school was commencing in April. Now, she is flying with us to Hindon tomorrow but for a different reason,” hr said adding the family has requested that Joshi’s funeral be held at Hindon.