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Today In History

History: March

March 01, 1960: Air Headquarters moved from Peshawar to Karachi.
March 01, 1963: Lockheed C-130B "Hercules" aircraft inducted.
March 01, 1965: College of Aeronautical Engineering (CAE) inaugurated.

March 02, 1999: Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra, has upgraded the Mushshak aircraft by incorporating several modifications in its existing version. PAC has retrofitted the 260 HP Lycoming engine and McCauley 3-blade speed propeller, upgrading the performance of the Mushshak. The production of the Mushshak aircraft reflects the high level of skill of PAC engineers. Besides Pakistan, this aircraft is being used by Sweden, Denmark, Oman, Syria and Iran.
March 02, 2007: Two series production Chengdu JF-17 Thunder aircraft were airfreighted to Pakistan. The first aircraft, serialled 07-101, was painted in a special colour scheme of the Chinese and Pakistan flags to reflect the collaboration on the project. The second aircraft wore a two-tone grey scheme. [See also: JF-17 Thunder Picture Gallery]
March 02, 2010: Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman has been decorated with King Abdul Aziz Award, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s highest award. [Read more: Rao Qamar Suleman, Chief of the Air Staff - PAF]

March 03, 1972: Air Marshal Zafar Chaudhry takes over as Chief of the Air Staff.

March 05, 1961: Lockheed F-104 "Starfighter" inducted.

March 06, 1983: Air Headquarters moved to the capital, Islamabad; elements temporarily remaining at Peshawar, redesigned as Rear Air Headquarters.
March 06, 1985: Air Marshal Jamal A. Khan takes over as Chief of the Air Staff.

March 08, 2005: Air Chief Marshal Zulfiqar Ali Khan N.I.(M), expired due to heart failure.

March 09, 1988: Air Chief Marshal Hakimullah takes over as Chief of the Air Staff.

March 13, 2007: F-7 fighter plane of the Pakistan Air Force crashed in the Kharotabad area near Samungli Air Base, official sources said. Pilot Flight Lieutenant Gulfam Soomro embraced Shahadat in the crash while Pilot Taha suffered injuries. However, no loss of life or property has been reported on ground. The crash occurred due to technical malfunction, says the statement.

March 14, 1954: King Faisal of Iraq visits Drigh Road Air Station.
March 14, 1969: First F-6 Formation Aerobatics by No. 25 Squadron witnessed by Marshal Grechko of USSR.

March 16, 1961: No. 23 Squadron formed. [Read also: PAF's No. 23 Squadron History: 1948-1988]

March 17, 1994: PAF F-16 (serial# 85721) crashed under unknown circumstances and written off.

March 18, 1970: King Hussein of Jordan witnesses air display at Sargodha.
March 18, 2002: The F-6 crashed during a training flight near Quetta. The pilot ejected safely but sustained minor injuries.

March 18, 2009: Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman takes over as 19th Chief of the Air Staff. He was born in 1954 and got his initial education at PAF College Sargodha and joined the PAF in 1975. He is a fighter pilot, a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and has served as an instructor at the Combat Commanders School (CCS). [Brief Introduction: Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, S Bt, SI (M), HI (M), NI (M)]

March 19, 2004: F-7 Fighter Aircraft, while on a routine operational training mission, crashed 20 Miles west of Jhang (Punjab Province). The crash apparently occurred due to technical malfunction. The Pilot of the aircraft ejected safely. No loss of civilian life or property has been reported.

March 21, 1948: Lahore stages first RPAF display.

March 22, 1972: Name tags introduced.

March 23, 1956: 'Royal' deleted from RPAF's title to become 'PAF' and a grand air display held at PAF Station Drigh Road.
March 23, 1987: A Pakistan Air Force Mirage jet crashed due to a bird strike just 50 seconds before it was to dip in salute to President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq at the National Day military parade in Rawalpindi. Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Robert Mugabe was the guest of honor at the parade, which also drew Pakistan's top civilian, military and diplomatic officials. Pilot Mohammad Saeed Iqbal was killed.

March 25, 1995: The fighter which was on a routine training, developed technical problems and crashed in northeast of Punjab province. The pilot, Flight lieutenant Tariq Javed, received fatal injuries.

March 26, 2002: An F-7P fighter aircraft crashed 16km south of Multan during a training mission on Monday only five minutes after the plane took off from its base. The pilot, Flight Lieutenant Naveed Ahmed, tried but failed to land safely after the plane developed a technical fault and ejected safely.

March 27, 1984: Institute of Flight Safety (IFS) established.

March 28, 1995: The trainer aircraft crashed, yet both pilots managed to escape.

March 30, 1987: PAF F-16 shoots down an intruding Afghan An-26 near Miranshah area.

March 31, 1975: PAF Base Kalabagh established.

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