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Home > News > Report

Had no time to be nervous on flight: Kalam

Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Pune | June 08, 2006 11:35 IST
Last Updated: June 08, 2006 15:55 IST

President A P J Abdul Kalam, supreme commander of the armed forces, undertook a historic sortie in the Sukhoi-30 MKI, Indian Air Force's state-of-the-art supersonic fighter aircraft, which took off from Lohegaon airbase in Pune at 10.25 am on Thursday and landed around 40 minutes later.

Wing Commander Ajay Rathore, Commanding Officer of the SU-30 MKI squadron, flew the President at a speed of 15,00 km per hour to a height of about 25,000 feet

"I was not at all nervous, there was no time to be nervous," President Kalam told this correspondent soon after landing back at the airbase. "Rathore guided me well."

"After flying this sortie, I know realise that India is in safe hands, our borders are safe. We have such good pilots, and good defence personnel."

As the fighter plane was expected to fly at supersonic speeds, Kalam donned a G-suit before boarding the aircraft. He was also briefed by senior Air Force officials ahead of the 30-minute sortie.

Kalam is the first Indian President to fly in the all-weather, air-dominance supersonic fighter aircraft. Previously, in February, he had undertaken a submarine voyage.

Two Sukhois accompanied Kalam's flight during which he was shown how targets are located both in mid-air and on the ground with the radar's help, Air Commodore M Banerjee, told reporters.

Kalam, who is on a two-day visit to Pune, entered the airbase at 09.15 hours, and was received by Air Marshal Ajit Bhavnani, Vice chief of Air Staff; Air Marshal P K Mehta, Air Officer Commanding in-Chief, South Western Air Command; and Air Commodore M Banerjee, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Base, Pune. Air Warriors of the airbase presented a ceremonial guard of honour to the President at the lightning squadron tarmac.

With additional inputs from PTI

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Number of User Comments: 26

Sub: It's good message for everyone

Such a creative and boldness with courageous intelligence in Indian President is very appreciable that gives the message others to do like him. I was ...

Posted by Khemraj

Sub: fire

Mr.President, how about sitting in a MIG & taking off ? I'm sure you will be nervous this time.

Posted by jaune

Sub: Dr. Abdul Kalam, alias Walter Mitty

James Thurber's story "Secret Life of Walter Mitty", begins like this: "WERE going through!" The Commander's voice was like thin ice breaking. He wore his ...

Posted by Cogito_ergo...

Sub: Finally, A President is also a Commander In Chief

Finally, we have President who also has taken on the role of Commander in Chief. President Kalam realizes that the Armed Forces that have been ...

Posted by AP

Sub: Congrats President Kalam,

Great moment for IAF and all INDIANS. Umesh Rohilla

Posted by Umesh Rohilla



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