The cloudy skies of Shillong did not deter the aerobatic display team of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to manoeuvre their aircraft in red and white called the Suryakiran (meaning ray of the sun) that mesmerised the audience today.
Hundreds of people enjoyed the IAF jets skilfully navigating and synchronising while hovering over the famous Umiam Lake which was also witnessed by Governor Satya Pal Malik and Meghalaya High Court Chief Justice, Sanjib Banerjee, air veterans, civil dignitaries, serving officials and locals.
The air display was part of the Swarnim Vijay Varsh.
Flight Lieutenant, Ridhima Gurung told reporters that the team has come to Meghalaya for the first time in its 25 years and their experience in the abode of clouds was wonderful.
Since weather plays an important role in carrying out the display flying, the Flight Lieutenant informed that based on the cloud height, the team took to the skies with precision in manoeuvres and aerobatic variations.
“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,” Gurung said.
It may be mentioned that the Suryakiran Aerobatic Team is known for its professionalism, precision and prowess. Most professional Air Forces have a Formation Aerobatic unit which undertakes the extremely challenging role of doing aerobatic manoeuvres, in large formations, to not only showcase their capabilities but also to motivate the youth to join the defence services.
The team consists of 17 officers, 200 technicians, which was formed in 1996 has been personifying the motto of the Indian Air Force “Touch the sky with glory” ever since.
The team has 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. The team has also been carrying out flypasts over the country to celebrate Swarnim Vijay Varsh .
The team which has grown into a global phenomenon has the distinction of being amongst a handful of 9 aircraft formation Aerobatic teams in the world.
This team, which has been the brand ambassador of the IAF, is also the 52 squadron of the IAF and is the youngest fighter squadron with the motto “Always the Best”.