With the ongoing conflict in Sudan and its uncertainty, the IAF conducted a non stop tactical rescue operation of nearly 24 hours.
In the midnight hours of 03 – 04 May 23, an Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft airborne from Hindan, flew through the night to land in the early morning hours at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The aircraft refuelled at Jeddah to undertake a nonstop flight from Jeddah, via war torn Sudan and back to India. The aircraft took excess fuel from Jeddah to avoid a situation of non-availability of fuel and refueling delays in Sudan.
The mission was one of a kind, with the aircraft carrying 192 passengers, mostly ladies, children and elderly persons, who either were NRIs, foreign nationals or OCIs (Overseas Citizens of India). These people could not be taken to Jeddah, and hence were required to be flown directly to India in a nonstop flight by the heavy jet.
At Sudan, the aircraft carried out an overhead steep tactical arrival followed by an assault approach to land the heavy jet. During the entire duration of the ground operations, the aircraft engines were kept running in readiness of a quick exit from the airfield, in case of such a need arising.
The crew encountered another unplanned emergency when one of the passengers became unconscious during the flight. This situation was immediately and proficiently handled by the crew who administered him 100% Oxygen to stabalise him.
The aircraft landed at Ahmedabad late in the evening on 04 May 23 late in the evening and then at the home base of Hindan late in the night on the same day. The crew thus flew through extended duty periods of nearly 24 hrs to get some of the last stranded countrymen back to India.