Air Vice Marshal SK Adaval joined the Armed Forces Medical Services in 1962 after earning his postgraduate degree in Pathology. He was trained by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Laboratory Quality Control at UK, USA and Canada. He worked for several years at the Institute of Aviation Medicine Bangalore, where he underwent special training in Aviation Accident Pathology. He was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal and the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for professional excellence and for his work in the Indo-Soviet Space Mission in 1982. He commanded 5 AFH, the second largest Air Force Hospital. His last posting in the Armed Forces was as the Additional Director General Armed Forces Medical Services (Medical Research). Post retirement from the IAF in 1994, he worked as Professor and Head of Pathology at AIIMS Belur, Karnataka for four years.
During his tenure in the Armed Forces, he investigated a large number of military and civil fatal air crashes and his scientific papers on this subject have regularly appeared in scientific journals. He also authored a book titled 'Fatal Aircraft Accidents: A Pathologist’s Notebook', which highlights aspects of Aviation Accident Pathology for Medical Officers involved in the investigation of fatal aircraft accidents. It provides the MO with a template for undertaking the investigation that includes preparations that must be done prior to the arrival at the accident site, tasks that need to be performed at site and the procedures for the collection and analysis of evidence and specimens. Known for his clear thinking, this soft spoken professional was clearly the doyen of Aviation Pathology in the country and shall be remembered for posterity for his immense contributions in this area.
AVM SK Adaval AVSM VSM (Retd.) breathed his last on 23 Aug 17. The members of the Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine pray for peace to the departed soul and fortitude to the bereaved family to bear the irreparable loss.