A Powered Hand Glider (PHG) hovered over Thanjavur on Tuesday. On board was a VVIP of Indian Air Force Air Vice Marshal K.P.Nair, Senior Air Staff officer, Southern Air Command, Indian Air Force, Tiruvananthapuram.
Mr. Nair was on his first visit to Thanjavur Air Force Station after taking over as Senior Air Staff Officer. He inaugurated the PHG, which has been allotted to Air Force station, Thanjavur to promote adventure activity among air warriors and their families in Southern region.
After flying over Thanjavur for 15 minutes in the PHG, Mr. Nair told The Hindu that it was a "wonderful experience for him". "I have flown in fighter aircrafts. But this experience is different. I have flown in aircrafts with propellers in front, on top and for the first time I have done with a propeller at back in the PHG. Who knows, perhaps we may have air crafts with propellers down" Mr. Nair said.
Asked about the preparedness of Air Force, he said that "we are always prepared". He said that the PHG could be used for chasing birds away when aircrafts land at Thanjavur. This will help in putting an end to bird menace. I saw some birds eagles soaring in the sky when I was flying in the PHG" Mr. Nair said.
He said that lot of activities will take place in Thanjavur Air Force station when once the expansion of run way is completed. Surya Kiran, spectacular air show will be arranged soon. Group Captain S.S.Kothari, Thanjavur Air Force station commander said that para sailing was arranged for wives of airmen and officers in connection with International women's day as an adventure. PHG will help those who want to take to adventures. "One can get a beautiful view of Thanjavur town by flying in PHG" Mr. Kothari said.
Mr. Nair, a fighter pilot has flown all the frontline air defence aircraft of Indian Air Force and has over 2500 hours of flying to his credit. The Air Marshal had held various staff and field appointments before taking over as the Senior Air Staff Officer. He has commanded a premier MIG 29 squadron and was chief operations officer of a Su-30 base, Air Officer commanding of a Su-30 base, Senior Instructor (Air) in the prestigious Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Director of Personnel officers at Air Headquarters.