The U.K. duo steals Hyderabad air show

On their maiden visit to India, daredevil aerobatic pilots Mark Jefferies and Tom Cassells had a close shave that petrified them. No, it was not a technical snag or coordination problem, but a bird.

During their show at the ongoing India Aviation 2014 here, they came as close as two feet to a bird, “It would have been the end of the show for us,” said Mr. Jefferies of the Mark Jefferies Air Shows and Display Aerobatics. “This was a unique problem here since the airport is in the city but we managed.” Mr. Cassells, was quick to add: “The crowd response here has been overwhelming and we never expected it to be this way.”

Both pilots from the United Kingdom have become a celebrity of sorts at the air show. They are mobbed by those who want to get a picture with them. Their show in the morning and again late evening has been a scene-stealer in the last few days.

Considering the kind of manoeuvres the duo performs, one would expect the two to adopt a slew of special measures before a show. “We just eat good and healthy, and drink lots of fluids... We can even have a heavy meal just and go ahead with the show,” chuckled Mr. Jefferies. Mr. Cassells said, “I can even take calls and talk to people while am in the middle of a performance.”

In a first, the pilots unveiled their unique synchronised smoke act and plan to repeat it in future shows.

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