The Suryakiran Aerobatic Team of the Indian Air Force (IAF) put up a stunning air show in Guwahati on Tuesday as people came out on balconies and terraces besides gathering on roads to watch the aerial display.
The team performed for over 20 minutes over Lachit Ghat on the banks of the Brahmaputra river under a clear sky.
Speaking to PTI, team administrator Flight Lieutenant Ridhima Gurung said, “All nine aircraft of the team were a part of the show at Guwahati today. Last year, the team had enthralled the audience at Shillong, Meghalaya, and is delighted to carry out a display in Guwahati this year.” She said the squad flew in from Tezpur, nearly 200 kilometres by road from here which it covered in about 15 minutes by flight, where it is based currently.
“The aircraft flew in directly from Tezpur and participated in the air show, and returned to the base there,” the team administrator, who also took the spectators at Lachit Ghat through the performance with her commentary, added.
Group Captain GS Dhillon helmed the team, which consisted of nine other pilots, including Wing Commander R Bordoloi who hails from Assam.
Besides top defence officials, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was also among those enthralled by the performance of the IAF’s aerobatic team.
“Was witness to a stupendous show by IAF’s Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team in their Hawk Mk 132s over Lachit Ghat, Guwahati in presence of Hon First Lady of Assam Smt Prem Mukhi ji. My gratitude to @IAF_MCC for organising this beautiful event in Guwahati,” Sarma tweeted.
While the sound of the aircraft zooming through the skies was audible almost across the city, the visibility was also good for a long stretch along the Brahmputra which passes through Guwahati.
People came out on balconies and terraces of buildings near the river, while pedestrians as well as those in vehicles stopped or slowed down to have a glimpse of the daredevil stunts being displayed in the sky.
The spectators at Lachit Ghat were in ruptures every time the aircraft performed overhead and left the onlookers in awe.
The Suryakiran, popularly known as the Ambassadors of the IAF, has the distinction of being among a handful of nine-aircraft formation aerobatic teams in the world.
The team was formed in 1996 and is based in Bidar, Karnataka. It flies nine Hawk Mk132 aircraft, designed by BAe (British Aerospace) and licence manufactured in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The team has completed more than 600 displays across the length and breadth of India and in several foreign countries.