Tamil Nadu

Air Fest: The flight of the Peacock

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en-year-old Parthasarathy from a nearby government school jumped up and down, clapping his hands and exploding with excitement.

His dad kept a restraining hand on his shoulder as he too squinted his eyes to watch three helicopters doing aerobatics in the sunny blue sky.

Not just Parthasarathy, but quite a chunk of the crowd held its collective breath as three choppers, turned, dipped, soared and criss-crossed each other in close formation.

In a rare gesture, the IAF allowed the civilian public inside Air Force Station Sulur to witness an air demonstration by the IAF’s Advanced Light Helicopter (or Dhruv as it is commonly known), and a static display of some of its faithful workhorses such as the Avro, Dornier, AN-32, and the radar Rohini.

Air Force personnel explained the origins and roles of the respective aircraft and radars to the crowd.

While some visitors just gazed at the Avro, others asked searching questions. The Avro is one of the oldest aircraft inducted into the Indian Air Force that is still in service.

There were hoots of laughter as a school student asked, “Mileage kitna deta hai?” (What mileage does this give?).

NCC flight cadets S.K. Kajal and D. Sornalatha from 1 TN Squadron in Chennai watched as an AN 32 did circuit landings to demonstrate its versatile performance. “It requires a very short runway to operate in” informed the loudspeaker where a commentary was on about each type of aircraft, who was flying it and so on. Perhaps the cadets were dreaming of the time they could be in Air Force uniforms flying high. Crowds of children from schools and colleges in and around Sulur watched in awe along with them.

“That was one of the reasons we had this Air Show,” said Air Commodore Umesh Kumar of Air Force Station Sulur. “We wanted to connect with the young people and ignite a spark of patriotism in them.

We often get requests from schools and colleges for guided tours and the Air Fest provided the perfect opportunity, more so since we are going to celebrate our 68th Independence Day next week. The public could get up close with some of the workhorses of the Air Force that has served the country long and well.” 





We wanted to connect with the young people and ignite a spark of patriotism

in them -Air Commodore Umesh Kumar, Air Force

Station Sulur



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Printable version | Nov 11, 2019 8:44:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/air-fest-the-flight-of-the-peacock/article7520652.ece

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