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HAL Director and Chief Test Pilot found dead

Oct 11, 2011 03:46 PM IST India India

Bangalore: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Chief Test Pilot and Director (Corporate Planning and Marketing) Squadron Leader (Rtd) Baldev Singh was found dead in Bangalore on Tuesday. His was body found at tourist spot Nandi Hills at 11 am.

The reasons behind his death are still not known, but police said Singh has allegedly committed suicide.

Sqn Ldr (Retd) Baldev Singh, Director (Corporate Planning & Marketing) of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, hanged himself from a tree using his turban at "Bramhagiri Betta", part of the picturesque Nandi hills, a favourite tourist spot near here, police sources said.

The sources said Singh (58), wearing a HAL uniform, had left behind the driver of his official car near the international airport and then went to Nandi Hills.

Nandi Hills is a popular tourist destination on the outskirts of Bangalore city.

Singh, survived by wife and two sons, had retired from Indian Air Force in 1989 and joined HAL. He had earlier served as Executive Director (Flight Operations) and the Chief Test Pilot (Fixed Wing) at HAL Bangalore Complex.

He was also involved in the development of the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas by the HAL.

Highly experienced in various facets of aviation, he had a total Flight Test experience of over 6,000 hours on 55 different types of aircraft. He was a Qualified Flying Instructor and held a diploma in Aviation Flight Safety from the Naval Post Graduate College, Monterey Bay, California, US.

He had graduated from the National Defence Academy in December 1972 and was commissioned into the Indian Air Force in June next year 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.

He 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.

(With additional information from PTI)