- Sainpyniar Mukhim, Meghalaya
As part of the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ celebrations, a flypast by Indian Air Force (IAF) fighters and helicopters were performed, which was followed by an air-display by the Suryakiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) of the IAF at Umiam Lake, Shillong, Meghalaya.
The event was celebrated to commemorate 50 years of India’s victory in 1971 Indo-Pak War.
Meghalaya Governor, Satya Pal Malik attended the function as a Chief Guest. He was accompanied by Chief Justice, Sanjib Banerjee, Meghalaya Chief secretary, Rebecca Suchiang; and several other senior officials.
The ceremonious occasion was also attended by air veterans, civil dignitaries, serving officials and local populace.
However, the aerial ballet by the IAF machines in the blue skies of Shillong was witnessed by public from various vantage points located around Umiam Lake.
Briefing the mediapersons, Flight Lieutenant, Ridhima Gurung said that the team has come to Meghalaya for the first time in its 25 years.
The flypast conducted by Suryakiran Aerobatic Team aims to motivate the Meghalaya youth for joining the forces.
“It was a beautiful opportunity to be here at Umiam Lake and Meghalaya known as abode of clouds, where the clouds live, so it was a wonderful experience for the team to be here,” expressed Flight Lieutenant, Ridhima Gurung.
It’s worth noting that weather plays an important role in carrying out a display flying.
Based on the cloud height, the team leader has to take a call whether to carry-out a full profile or horizontal profile, informed the Flight Lieutenant.
“Once they did the first flypast that’s when the team leader, realised the weather is holding on and will be able to give a full show. Weather God’s smiled on us and that’s why we were able to give the people of Shillong a full display,” stated Flt Lt, Gurung.
According to a student, this was one of the best ever witnessed in the state. “Fighter pilots who flew the aircraft were beautifully displayed and amazing formations were done. Amazing aerobatics were amazingly done it was beautiful and inspiring for us. Thankful to the Indian Airforce to conduct this event and this has definitely aspired me to join the force,” stated the Mahajan or student.
Besides, the team will also perform two more flypasts, which will be flown over entire North East, and culminating with a display at Lachit Ghat, Guwahati on December 12, 2021.
Popularly known as “Ambassadors of Indian Air Force”, the Suryakirans Aerobatic Team was formed in 1996.
The team which has grown into a global phenomenon, has the distinction of being amongst a handful of 9 aircraft formation Aerobatic team in the world.
It has successfully completed more than 600 displays through the length and breadth of the country and has also represented India in Sri Lanka and Dubai in 2021, according to an official statement.