SHILLONG: The people of Shillong were enthralled at the Air festival organised by the Head Quarters Eastern Air Command Upper Shillong as part of the 81st Anniversary of the Indian Air Force.
The highlight of the show was fly past and air display by Sukhoi Su-30MKI, skydiving by the Akashganga, India’s first sky diving team, slithering operations by the Garud Commando Force, fly past by microlight aircraft, aero modelling free flight by the Air Wing of National Cadet Corps and Air Force Band Display.
The people gathered in huge numbers to witness the performance by Su-30MKI.
The aircraft has a range of 3000 kms ensuring a 3-hour 45 minutes endurance, extending to 10 hours covering a range of 8000 kms. Its maximum speed is over 2000Kms/ per hour.
One of the two Su-30MKI was from Tezpur, piloted by Air Commodore Rathour AOC Air Force Station (AFS)Tezpur who has more than 3000 hours of flying experience. The other Su-30 was from AFS Chabua and its pilot was Wing Commander Waghmare having more than 2700 hours of flying.
The Garud Commando Force personnel performed slithering operations from Mi-17V5 hovering over the ground. Later they also performed some unarmed combat, and show of strength. The team was led by Wing Commander Ravindranath and 14 elite Air Force commandos.
The Akashganga team gave a breathtaking display of skydiving to the applause of the entire audience.
The event started with Air Force band display and fly past by microlight aircraft.
The entire Air Fest programme was threatened by bad weather but held back just enough for the entire event to go through flawlessly. Helicopters, micro light aircraft were on display for people to look at close range. Other equipments were night vision glasses and many other gadgets used by the Air Force.
Those who came for the Air Fest included children from schools, families. A large number of Civil and Armed forces dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
The Chief Guest on the occasion was Air Chief Marshal R K Sharma , Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief EAC, IAF and his wife Chitralekha Sharma.