He saved nearly 500 lives by air-lifting critically ailing people in India and foreign countries. However, his job of saving people’s lives could not save Captain Harpreet Singh Sekhon, 28, pilot of the air ambulance, which crashed in Faridabad on Wednesday night.
A pall of gloom descended over his residence in Patiala's Model Town, where relatives thronged to mourn his demise.
His father Gurbakshish Singh Sekhon was inconsolable. Harpreet had a bachelor’s degree in computers and had undergone training to be a pilot from Amritsar. In 2007, the DGCA issued him a commercial pilot licence.
"Harpreet never said no to airlifting a patient. He was available round-the-clock. He used to say that the best part about his job was that he could participate in saving a person's life, without understanding medical sciences,” said Pawan Yadav, Manager Operations of Mega Corporation Limited, where Sekhon began his career.
Harpreet had airlifted not only patients in India, but from countries ranging from Nepal, Pakistan to Iran, Iraq and Arab countries. "And the best thing was that not a single patient died during his sorties," said Yadav, adding that Harpreet was their best air ambulance pilot.
He had later shifted to Air Charted Services Private Limited. Actually, say Harpreet's relatives, his habit of never saying no proved fatal for him. That day, he just had one job-dropping a few VIPs to Chandigarh to attend the funeral of Surinder Kaur Badal, Punjab chief minister PS Badal's wife.
"He even told us that he would have dinner with them. However, a got a phone call for airlifting a critical ill
patient from Patna. He never returned to fulfill his promise of coming back by 10.30pm," said Jaswinder Randhawa, Harpreet's cousin.