Air Commodore Rizwanullah Khan Shaheed 1957-2003
Air Commodore Rizwanullah Khan was born on August 13, 1957 in Rawalpindi, the first child of Captain Abdullah Khan and Zubaida Begum. His early years were spent at various Army stations. In 1971, his father, then a Lt. Colonel, was taken Prisoner of War and spent 3 years in an Indian POW camp. Rizwan’s mother enrolled her two sons in Cadet College Hasanabdal and the experience, coupled with the regular, content-rich letters that the brothers received from their PoW father, proved to be a turning point in Rizwan’s life. Later, Rizwan often told his children that his father’s remote, long-distance tutelage through letters shaped his personality, character and destiny.
Air Commodore Rizwanullah Khan was commissioned into Pakistan Air Force in 1978 as the top graduate of 66 GD (P). He learnt the basic skills of fighter flying on the F-6. In 1982 he graduated from the Flying Instructor’s School and flew as an instructor on the T-37 for 2 years. He later opted for a degree in Aerospace Engineering and successfully graduated from CAE Risalpur, in 1987. He then converted on the Mirage in 1998 and on the F-16 in 1990. He is a graduate of CCS where he later flew as an instructor on the F-16. He is a graduate of RAF Staff College Bracknell and holds a Master’s Degree in Defence Studies from Kings College London.
After his staff course he operated as Chief Instructor, Combat Commanders’ School, Sargodha and later commanded No. 11 Multi Role Squadron before taking up his assignment as Deputy Director and later Director OR&D in Directorate of Plans, AHQ, Chaklala. He was then assigned as Officer Commanding, Combat Commanders’ School, Sargodha. His last assignment was as Personal Staff Officer to Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir.
Air Commodore Rizwanullah Khan was an Abdalian and a Sargodhian. He was a National Talent Scholarship holder after intermediate examination. He won the Sword of Honour and the Best Pilot’s Trophy upon graduation from PAF Academy, Risalpur. Amongst his achievements are Best Flying Instructor’s Trophy, Gold Medal in BE, Trophy for Best in Engineering Discipline and Best Combat Commander’s Trophy. Under his command, No. 11 Squadron won ACES Top Gun Trophy and upon completion of command he was awarded Sitara-e-Basalat for meritorious service.
Air Commodore Rizwanullah Khan has published two books, “Commanding a Fighter Squadron” and “Training to be a Flighter Pilot”.
Air Commodore Rizwanullah Khan’s final achievement was to embrace Shahadat alongside his Chief of Air Staff and other worthy colleagues, while on their way to inspect Kohat Air Base on February 20, 2003.
Air Commodore Rizwanullah Khan’s wife, Samina, works for Oracle Corporation. They have four children, Andaleeb, Taimur (an Abdalian), Sabine and Bilal.
1. MA (Defence Studies), King’s College, London, UK – 1994
2. BE (Aerospace), College of Aeronautical Engineering, PAF Risalpur – 1987
3. BSc (Aerosciences), PAF College, Sargodha – 1977
4. FSc Intermediate (12th Grade), PAF College, Sargodha – 1975
5. Matric Higher Secondary School, Cadet College, Hasan Abdal – 1973
1. Flying Instructor’s Course
2. Fighter Integration Course
3. Combat Commander’s Course
4. Advanced Staff Course
5. Safety Management Course
Academic and Professional Awards
1. National Talent Scholarship after Intermediate Exam – 1975
2. Sword of Honour upon graduation from PAF Academy – 1978
3. Best Pilot’s Trophy upon graduation from PAF Academy – 1978
4. Best Flying Instructor’s Trophy – 1982
5. Distinction in BE (Aerospace) – 1987
6. Gold Medal in BE (Aerospace) – 1987
7. Trophy for Best in Engineering Discipline – 1987
8. Best Aerospace Vehicle Design Certificate – 1987
9. Best Combat Commander’s Trophy – 1993
10. ACES Top Gun Trophy for No. 11 Multi Role Sqn – 1996
11. Sitara-e-Basalat Medal for Meritorious Service – 1997
1. Member Royal Aeronautical Society, UK
2. Member Pakistan Engineering Council
1. Commanding a Fighter Squadron, PAF press, 1998
2. Training to be a Fighter Pilot, PAF press, 1999