Nagpur: Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots displayed their air manoeuvring skills at the ‘Air Fest 2022’ event held at the Nagpur-based Maintenance Command headquarters on Saturday.
The drills were performed by IAF’s “Akashganga” team using Dornier aircraft and a Sarang helicopter display team comprising four modified Advance Light Helicopters (ALHs) Dhruv. A Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) comprising nine Hawk Mk.132 aircraft flew in different variations.
The event commenced with 14 cadets of NCC (Air Wing) demonstrating their skills in aero-modelling wherein both remote-controlled and control-line models were flown. The remote-controlled aircraft carried out an aerobatic display consisting of loops, rolls and a figure of eight whereas, the control line model displayed inverted flying, loops and a vertical figure of eight, a release said.
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Thereafter, a paramotor pilot enthralled the audience with aerobatic manoeuvres including a spiral descent from 1,000 feet and a ‘wingover’ at a height of 300 feet.
The daredevils of the “Akashganga” IAF team consisting of six air warriors displayed a breathtaking demonstration of skydiving from a Dornier aircraft from a height of 8,000 feet and landed with precision in the designated landing zone.
This was followed by an Avro aircraft, a medium-size turboprop transport aircraft, flying low at 500 feet above ground level in front of spectators.
The Air Fest was conducted as a part of the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Independence.
Air Marshal Vibhas Pande, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance Command, was the chief guest.
Another eye-catching performance was a synchronised rifle drill performance by 18 air warriors of the world-renowned Air Warrior Drill Team (AWDT) of the IAF.
A flying demonstration was held by the Sarang helicopter air display team of the IAF comprising four modified Advance Light Helicopters (ALHs) Dhruv.
The Sarang team performed some breathtaking manoeuvres like approaching the dais in wine glass formation and then displayed very crisp and elegant India and diamond formations.
This was followed by the gravity-defying Dolphin’s leap which is a three-aircraft synchronized stall turn. The aircraft formation thereafter executed spectacular high-speed crosses, the release said.
Meanwhile, two aircraft painted a white heart in the sky.
In a signature manoeuvre, the Sarang team split and the team leader presented an aerial salute. The choppers flying just two propellers distance from each other showed the superior skills and expertise of pilots.
A Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT), comprising nine Hawk Mk. 132 aircraft, also displayed their skills by flying in various formations like the diamond formation, Tejas formation, Prachand formation, barbed wire cross and inverted Vic.
After the Air Show, a static display of aero models, Mi-17 V5 aircraft and various operational equipment was opened up to the audience.