IAF’s Air Fest in Shillong enthralls viewers

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Shillong, Oct 1 (IANS) The IAF’s Eastern Air Command conducted its annual Air Fest here on Sunday leaving the viewers enthralled though adverse weather conditions delayed the flypast.

The flypast could not be due to inclement weather prevailing for the last couple of days. On Sunday too, there was drizzling in the morning and the cloud cover precluded any flypast till a tleast noon.

The rains however, could not lower the spirit of the people of Shillong and they started thronging the advanced landing ground.

The major attraction at the Air Fest was Mi-17 and the ALH helicopters on static display and most visitors found themselves in their cockpits, happily clicking away at their cameras.

Another area that attracted the visitors in large numbers was the stall set up by the Indian Air Force’s Garud commandos, displaying their special weapons and equipment.

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Many visitors were keen to see the planned flypast by helicopters and the Sukhoi-30, but felt disappointed when told that it may not happen due to low clouds.

This however was soon reversed by afternoon when the sun broke through the clouds and a Mi-17 flew past and landed.

This was followed by the flypast of a Su-30 MKI fighter. When the turn for the Indian Air Force ‘Air Devils’ skydiving team came to get airborne in the helicopter, excitement was already at a high.

But by the time the helicopter reached overhead, clouds had once again moved in and the paradrop had to be aborted.

As the helicopter was returning, Garud commandos put forth a slithering demonstration, sliding down a rope from a helicopter hovering at a low height.

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The demonstration by the commandos was barely over when it was announced that the Air Devils would be getting airborne as the cloud cover was once again lifting.

The Air Devils finally did enthral the spectators by carrying out a scintillating display of aerial manoeuvring and perfect landing by each member of the team.



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