This blog, more than anything, is just a form of diary for me to look back on in years to come, so it is right that I document anything significant that happens. At the weekend, we heard the tragic news that our friend Ajvir Sandhu had died in a light aircraft crash. I am lucky in my life to have to have dealt with loss only a very small number of times, and these days I rarely saw Aj. But he was one of the cadets I worked closest with, at a time when the Squadron was arguably at it’s strongest and he was part of the close Alps Team of 2007. I remember him reading the entire last Harry Potter book on the drive to the Alps (it came out the day before), being a very slow reader, I was in awe. He was also one of the few to be able to claim that he actually improved the Squadron, and was among the best SNCOs I have worked with. More importantly, he was one of the very, very few ex-cadets that I consider my friend – most move on and we never see each other again, and naturally so - but I did expect Aj to pop up on occasion for many years to come – I went for a drink with him only at Christmas. So, infrequent though it was, and usually through the effort of mutual friends, it is odd to think I’ll never see him again.
I also remember Aj’s passion for flying and the RAF and I was really pleased when I heard that he was streamed for Fast Jet, not that I ever really expected anything else. In such tragic times maybe one can draw slight solace from the fact that he was enjoying life and his job to such a degree that he chose to do exactly the same thing in his spare time – not many of us can claim that. He would have gone very far in the RAF, but in a life cut all too short, Aj experienced a lot, and clearly touched a lot of people judging by the social media comments – I guess, because he was such a genuinely nice guy.
Our thoughts are with Aj’s mother, father and sister. Rest in peace, Aj.
|Aj, and someone's washing, in the Alp, 2007|
|Aj, front left|
|Aj liked climbing but I think he liked flying more|