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IAF show takes Hyderabad's breath away
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad |
May 10, 2003 14:53 IST
The Indian Air Force organised a scintillating air show over the Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad on Saturday, enthralling thousands.
It was a rare display of the awesome capabilities of the IAF pilots. As many as 55 aircraft and helicopters, including the state-of-the-art fighters, trainee and transport aircraft and choppers participated in the air show that lasted an hour.
Thousands of people converged in the parks and roads all around Hussain Sagar to witness the spectacular show, which was intended to showcase the prowess of IAF pilots and flying machines and to attract young men and women into the air wing of the country's defence forces.
The entire area reverberated with the sound of the aircraft and choppers performing aerobatics above. This was the third air show organised in as many years in the city.
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshall S Krishnaswamy and Andhra Pradesh Governor Surjit Singh Barnala were present for the show.
Thousands of men, women and children braved the scorching sun and cheered the aircraft and choppers as they flew over their heads.
The breathtaking flypast and low-level aerobatic manoeuvres by five Sukhoi-30s, a combat patrol by two SU-30s over the lake and a simulated raid by two MIG-29s were the main attractions, including formation aerobatics by the famous Surya Kiran Aerobatic team and sky diving by Akash Ganga team.
Earlier, two Chetak helicopters from Helicopter Training school flew around the lake to shower flower petals on viewers at the beginning of the show. Three Chetak helicopters from Air Force Station Hakimpet flew in a formation depicting the national flag and Air Force ensigns.
They were followed by one AN-32 aircraft and two Dornier transport aircraft from the Air Force Station Yelahanka in a flypast [prearranged usually low-altitude flight by one or more airplanes over a public gathering] and in a 'small boy' formation.
Nine Kiran aircraft from Air Force Station Bidar carried out a flypast in formation of three VICs [shape of a victory sign] each, while six Iskara aircraft carried out two VICs of three aircrafts each. They were followed by a big penetration strike and flypast in arrowhead formation by five Jaguar aircraft.
The main event was the manoeuvres by three SU-30 aircraft. The modern multi-role aircraft carried out breathtaking manoeuvres and rose in the sky like an arrow and turned upside down, taking several rounds over the area displaying its immense power and manoeuvrability. One of the SU-30s, which can fly at 700km per hour, also displayed another unique capability of flying at a low speed of 190km.
Two Mig-29s, posing as para-aggressors, advanced towards the SU-30s with their amazing speed, but the SU-30s positioned themselves in time for the combat and formed a loop to 'repulse' the attack. The SU-30s then released some firecrackers to give a feeling of a mock combat.
Nine aircraft formation of the Kirans by Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team from Air Force Station Bidar released three colors of the national flag during their aerobatic performances, including a two-aircraft synchronized medley.
The indigenous Kiran MK II aircraft formed the rays of a rising sun with each aircraft flying in a different directions. Then two aircraft headed straight into each other, veering off at the last moment as the crowd let out a collective gasp. Two aircraft formed a heart with the fumes while the third left the fumes resembling an arrow piercing through the heart.
The rescue operation by a Chetak helicopter in the lake was another highlight of the show. The chopper hovered over the boat for some time and rescued a man by raising him with a winch.
To wrap up the awesome display, eight members of the Indian sky diving team from Agra jumped from a MI-8 helicopter from 3,000 feet. They hovered over the lake and then skillfully landed at a small open area near the VIP enclosure to demonstrate precision landing of the paratroopers.
Air Chief Marshall Krishnaswamy said it was a great privilege for the IAF to perform before thousands of spectators from a city, which always supported the IAF. He recalled his days as an IAF trainee at Hyderabad and said the IAF was strong as the people, more than the machines, mattered in the force.
Governor Surjit Singh Barnala said the state of operational preparedness of IAF ensured safety and security of the nation. "The character of the men in uniform instills in us a sense of pride, discipline and above all, patriotism," he said.