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Home > News > PTI

George Fernandes dons flying suit

June 22, 2003 16:48 IST

Defence Minister George Fernandes, who has refused to don formal suits even at his meeting with foreign heads of state, on Sunday shed his favourite Kurta Pyjama and wore the anti-gravity suit to undertakea historic fighter sortie in a SU-30 MKI from Lohegaon Air Force Station near Pune.

After undergoing mandatory medical test, Fernandes climbed the aircraft at 0815 hours IST. The twinseater fighter aircraft was flown by Wing Commander Nirmal Singh Jamwal.

As any fighter pilot, Fernandes received his pre-flight meals and then changed over to the G-suit for flying. The defence minister was on board the frontline fighter aircraft for at least 40 minutes, IAF officials said.

The SU 30 MK I was inducted into the Indian Air Force in September last.

After flying the aircraft, Fernandes said India has no reason to worry irrespective of whether United States goes ahead with its plan to sell 'offensive' aircraft such as F-16.

"Firstly, the US has denied the report that they are intending to sell F-16s to Pakistan. This has been denied by US as a 'false story'," Fernandes said. "Secondly, even if we assume that they are going to sell it, we need not have any reason to worry about it as we have our own best aircraft."

Replying to a question on the growing number of accidents of MIG aircraft, Fernandes said, "On the contrary the rate of accidents have come down."

"From the time the MiGs were inducted in the IAF, there has been accidents, but it is only now that they are being more noticed by the media," he said.

He was critical of the media for dubbing the MiGs 'flying coffins' and said it is a great injustice to the pilots who are flying these aircraft.

© Copyright 2005 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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Number of User Comments: 12

Sub: joy ride?

With all due respect, why should the nation pay for George's Fernandes' joy ride?? What was achieved by the 40 minute flight?? I think the ...

Posted by Prashanth

Sub: Way to go George

This is the best way to prove the safety of Indian fighter aircraft . Pity he couldnt do it in his Kurta Pyjama .

Posted by Rajaram

Sub: flying high

hello george sir hope u would have enjoyed ur flight of fantasy why dont u give we civilians a chance to enjoy this too, plz ...

Posted by faraz


I am really appreciate the courage and determination of Mr. George Fernandez for flying in the SUKOI-30 fighter aircraft of IAF. He is very practical ...


Sub: George has a point...

George, you are right. At the same time we need to look into why MIGs are crashing. I do agree with you that the word ...

Posted by Krishna BK



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