About the Author: Under the Wings, On the Tarmac: A SERVICEGRAPHY OF AN IAF ENGINEER is the autobiography of Air Marshal Prashant Purushottam Khandekar 15095 AE(L), who served in the IAF from 1977 till 2016, a career spanning 39 years . During his time in the IAF, Air Marshal Khandekar served as station commander of 1 TETTRA, Chandigarh, Station Commander of AFS Chakeri, SMSO of Central and Maintenance Commands and finally as the Air Officer in Charge of Maintenane at Air Headquarters. he is an alumnus of VNIT and trained at NITIE Mumbai. He was also the Commandant and Director of MILIT – then a DRDO Lab, where he got the opportunity to study human behaviour closely, in almost four decades of service. He was member of many study teams; has four instructional tenures and has presented papers in many national level seminars on various topics. He has the unique honour of teneting four out of possible five appointments an engineer Air Marshal can. He took to writing in a training establishment and since then has been a regular writer mainly for defence journals, but this is his first full length book. For his distinguished service of exceptional order, he was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) by the the President on January 26, 2017.
Review of Under the Wings, On the Tarmac
Book Review of “Under the Wings- On the Tarmac” by Prashant Khandeker.
(314 pages, $15 Hard Copy, $7 Kindle, Available on Amazon)
Ret. Air Marshal Prashant Khandekar has written this book as his professional Autobiography. He has organized numerous incidents in his career in Indian Air Force (IAF) under different subjects, with some reference to his personal life.
His recall of the details of hundreds of incidents from his working life with names and ranks of his associates shows that he has a photographic memory and he has kept detailed notes of his daily work. Moreover he has drawn lessons from most of these incidents which is quite commendable. Especially the list of people he has given in “Affiliation” chapter is unbelievable.
He has organized the book in chapters with different themes which makes it easier for the reader to choose subjects of his interest. This book will be very popular and useful in IAF circles, and should be made a must read for all the recruits and officers of IAF. I am sure it will become a text book for many of their training courses.
The language in the book is easy to read and understand. Which will make it popular among his professional circle.
There are more than 300 acronyms used in the book which are listed at the end of the book. IAF personnel may know most of them but for an uninitiated reader they are unknown. For a non IAF person, while reading the book these acronyms, as many as 30 in one paragraph, act as obstructions and de-motivators for reading further. For a common reader not knowing the ranks and hierarchy of IAF is a big detractor. In some incidents it is difficult to know if Prashant is talking to his superior or assistant, which takes away the impact of the story.
The chapter of common interest are Religion, Management and Humor, which are very well written and do bring some chuckles while reading. Instead of covering many Management Techniques it would have been better to show “in details” how a few principles were applied or not applied in his work and what were the results.
From the title of the book one expected to read how IAF helped win different wars for the country, to that extent this was a completely different subject.
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