Thursday, 27 January 2022 | PNS | New Delhi
Viewers at the Rajpath and those watching the Republic Day parade on their television sets on Wednesday were treated to a thrilling fly past. This was the largest R-day fly past with more than 75 aircraft and helicopters taking part in the aerial show to mark 75 years of Independence.
For the first time, the aerobatic display was captured live by cameras fitted in the cockpit of the planes performing the daring sorties. These images were directly beamed on television screens all over the country and giant screens erected at the Rajpath.
In another first, the first woman fighter pilot Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh took part in the parade by saluting the President from the IAF tableau.
Giving details of the coverage of the fly-past, officials said more than 59 cameras and 160 personnel were engaged for the cockpit coverage of the Indian Air Force fly-past. Also, cameramen were deployed onboard to shoot images of the other aircraft.
Capturing the stunning visuals from the cockpit far above the clouds was the joint effort of Doordarshan and the IAF. Mesmerising footage from cameras fitted onboard aircraft that took part in the fly-past gave a glimpse of what the pilots saw from their cockpit. This was a whole new experience for the viewers.
The fly-past commenced with the “Dhwaj” formation with four Mi-17 aircraft, followed by “Rudra” and “Rahat” formations with four and five Advanced Light Helicopters, respectively.
The highlight of the fly-past was the finale in which 17 Jaguar flew in the “Amrit” formation to commemorate 75 years of Independence. Among the other aircraft that displayed their might at the parade were Rafale, Indian Navy’s MiG29K, P-8I surveillance aircraft and Jaguar fighter jets. The Tangail formation saw one Dakota and two Dornier flying in Vic formation. a
This was a tribute to the Tangail airdrop operations of the 1971 War. Tangail formation was followed by the Traan formation and Netra formation.
Next was the “Vinaash” formation comprising five Rafale aircraft followed by the “Baaz” formation displayed by a Rafale jet, two Jaguars, two MiG-29 UPGs, and two Su-30 MIs, creating an ‘Arrowhead’ formation of seven aircraft.
In the Tiranga formation, five Sarang (ALH) flew in ladder formation streaming Tricolour after Varuna formation. There was also a Meghna formation of 1 Chinook and four Mi-17s.
In the “Amrit” formation, 17 Jaguar aircraft made a figure of 75. The formation was led by Group Captain Avinash Singh and other pilots such as Group Captain Gourav Arjariya, Wing Commander Sandeep Jain, and Group Captain NP Verma.