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Air Marshal Baltikalanda U Chengappa

Air Marshal Baltikalanda U Chengappa, PVSM, AVSM, VSM retired early 2000. Before his retirement, he held the appointment as Air Officer Commanding, Maintenance Command IAF. Like father so is the son. A real chip of the old block, Air Marshal Chengappa went on to prove that Coorg in Karnataka is really a cradle of mighty Generals, Air Marshals, and Valiant soldiers.



Baltikalanda Uthaiah


Baltikalanda (Kodira) Dottey Thangmma

Family Tree


  • Degree- Engineering
  • MBA degree



Group Captain

  • Group Captain BU Chengappa was commissioned in the Engineering branch on 05 Jun 69. He held the appointments of Deputy Director Engineering at Air HQ and Commanding Officer of the Guided Weapons Training Institute.
  • He was specially selected for training on Mi-25 Helicopter in USSR. He is the Chief Engineering Officer at AF Station Hakimpet since 18 Oct 93.
  • On arriving at AF Station Hakimpet, he keenly observed the recurring Iskra aircraft snags and through his Engineering acumen located the cause at the hydraulic system arising from hydraulic oil contamination.
  • He designed and fabricated a special 3 micron oil filter in the system by which the snags have been completely eliminated.
  • Similarly on the helicopters he identified a manufacturing defect of Belloow-seal rupture causing transmission failure. This has earned him kudos from the Heli-division of HAL.
  • He blended his managerial skill with the technical environment and has been able to attain 93% serviceability on Iskra and 90% on the helicopters, through enhanced motivational techniques of a high calibre. The Station won best Mechanical Transport Trophy and the best Flying and Maintenance trophy of HQ Training Command in 1993 and 1994 respectively.

Air Vice Marshal

  • Chengappa, VSM (12112) was commissioned in the Engineering Branch of the IAF on 05 Jan 70. He underwent training abroad on Mi-25 aircraft and successfully carried out armament trials without the assistance of the Russian warranty team.
  • During his service of 33 years he held various important appointments, which include Commanding Officer (CO) of Guided Weapon Training Institute (GWTI), Joint Director Signal/Eng at Air HQ, CO MiG-23/27 Technical Type Training School (TETRA), Chief Engineering Officer at Fighter Training Wing (FTW) and AOC of a BRD.
  •  He was awarded VSM in 1996 for consistently maintaining the ageing Iskra fleet at more than 99% serviceability through high levels of involvement and innovativeness. He was the Senior Maintenance Staff Officer of Central Air Command since Jan 03.
  • As Air Officer Commanding of one of the premier systems BRDs, with his proactive approach he was successful in not only identifying and obtaining crores worth of Pechora systems from Tajikistan but also recovering the Cat ‘D’ Pechora combat flight through extended medium repairs to provide additional combat flight for Air Defence during Op Parakarm.
  • As Senior Maintenance Staff Officer (SMSO) of Central Air Command he brought in positive change in the ethos and work culture both at command as well as in the field units.
  • He brought all round improvements in aircraft activities and system functioning.
  • His innovative approach in focusing on maintenance and flight safety contributed immensely towards the promotion of safety consciousness in bases both in flying and non flying environments.
  • With his initiative and personal liaison with Public Sector Undertaking (PSUs), ADRDE and Air HQ AVM Chengappa were been able to achieve quality improvements in both aircraft serviceability and systems functioning.
  • Under his technical leadership, Central Air Command has been able to bring up the Jaguar, AN-32 & IL-76 serviceability, provide thrust for further exploitation of Mirage capability, plan for smooth induction of Su-30 MK I, focus earnestly on multi-skilling and induct smoothly the Fighter Reconnaissance Aircraft (FRA) Sqn in spite of various constraints.

Air Vice Marshal

  • Air Marshal Chengappa AVSM VSM (12112) AE(L) was commissioned on 05 January 1970 in the Engineering Branch of IAF.
  • He was one of the lAF’s most experienced engineering officers trained both on aircraft (ac) and systems.
  • During 36 years of distinguished service, he held several important Command and Staff appointments, and was the Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance at Air Headquarters,
  • The Air officer is Russian-trained on Mi-25 gunship and was a pioneer for its induction in the IAF, for which he was commended by the CAS.
  • He has the rare distinction of commanding a Guided Weapon Training Institute as a Wg Cdr, a Fighter Aircraft TETTRA School as a Gp Capt and a premier Systems Base Repair Depot as an Air Cmde, all with outstanding contributions.
  • As Chief Engineering Officer at a Flying Training Establishment, he sustained the serviceability of the ageing Iskra Fleet over 90%, thus ensuring timely completion of all flying training courses during his tenure. For this distinguished service, he was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 96 by the President,
  • Air Marshal Chengappa, as Senior Maintenance Staff Officer of Central Air Co-mmand, reinforced engineering discipline and material management in the field units to increase serviceability of combat assets and support infrastructure.
  • He ensured highest fuel and hydraulic discipline for improved flight and maintenance safety, and instilled concept of self-reliance to survive the resource crunch.
  • As Senior Maintenance Staff Officer at Maintenance Command, he ensured improvement in production at Base Repair Depots, in terms of both quantity and quality, thus enhancing lAF’s operational capability.
  • He brought radical changes In the work culture. He revitalized his techno-logistics team of officers and men to work more effectively and efficiently.
  • His thrust on faster processing of cases for procurement of aviation stores, and for repair and overhaul of aircraft assets, particularly ex-abroad, has resulted in better availability of combat assets.
  •  He used his high professional knowledge and vast experience to revise the existing maintenance practices across all ac and system fleets, resulting in less manpower and lesser time for higher serviceability.
  • His art of negotiation has saved phenomenal money to the exchequer. His special interest has led to fructification of the much required IMMOLS project, the e-environment for material management in IAF, which was commissioned by the Honourable Raksha Mantri 01 09 October 2006.
  • His personal liaison with all Govt. agencies, Defence PSUs, private sector and foreign vendors has resulted in all round synergism for making IAF a more potent force.
  • His fetish for a modern industrial environment has always generated clean, systematic and ergonomic work places – both in field units and in offices.


  • Vishist seva medal – 2006
  • Ati Vishist seva medal – 2004
  • Param Vishist seva medal-2007