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Tata takes to the skies again

Sharath S. Srivatsa
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ALL SET TO SOAR: Tata Group chairperson Ratan Tata gets into an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet before its flight at the Aero India show in Bangalore on Thursday. — PHOTO: BHAGYA PRAKASH K.
ALL SET TO SOAR: Tata Group chairperson Ratan Tata gets into an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet before its flight at the Aero India show in Bangalore on Thursday. — PHOTO: BHAGYA PRAKASH K.

Known to be an avid aviation enthusiast like his charismatic kinsman, it was another sortie in the air at a blistering speed for Ratan Tata on Thursday as he took to the skies in the Boeing's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

The Tata Group chairperson looked composed as he was briefed by the company officials before take-off. Mr. Tata, who holds a commercial pilot's licence, had flown a Lockheed Martin F-16 during the sixth Aero India show in 2007. “It was a great experience. Compared to the last flight, there was not much of a change but [it] felt better [this time],” Mr. Tata said.

The 45-minute flight in the Super Hornet was piloted by Test Pilot Mike Wallace, whose codename is Sting. The Super Hornet belongs to the United States Air Force, and comes from VFA 106 Squadron stationed at Oceania in Virginia.

According to Boeing officials, Mr. Tata had received standard, safety and equipment briefings before he took to the skies. Earlier, a Boeing spokesperson said they had not done any medical check-up on the 73-year-old Tata as there were only certain parameters to be adhered to.


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