Navy's 'Birdman' sets record

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New Delhi, Jun 13 (UNI) Lt Commander M V Birajdar of the Indian Navy has set a national record by flying over a set of islands in South India wearing a 'birdman' suit.

Birajdar, the training officer of the Indian Navy Skydiving Training Team (INSDTT), flew the entire length of the Mattan Cherry Channel before landing his parachute in INS Garuda on June 5, the Navy said today.

The Indian Navy becomes the 2nd Armed Forces team to fly Naval Crest in the skies in the Birdman suit other than the popular Golden Knights Parachuting team of the United States.

Similarly, the Chief of Staff Southern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sunil Lanba undertook a Tandem Assisted Free Fall (TAFF) jump over the Wellingdon Island on June 4 as also a Tandem Formation sky dive during the 45 second free fall to the base altitude of 5000 ft prior the deployment of the big Tandem Canopy.

This is a National record as it was carried out from over a small island over highly populated areas and surrounded by treacherous channels, with very strong currents.

The Navy had conducted a basic course between May 26 and June 7 in most difficult Drop Zone of the country, which in the past was adjudged unsafe for conduct of basic skydiving course in any format.

Twenty nine volunteers, including 22 Naval cadets earned the coveted parachute wing.

Wellington Island, where the camp was organised, is a small man made island with channels on either side with powerful currents.

INSDTT is the only one of its kind which trains in the most contemporary and safe Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) method and Tandem Assisted Free Fall (TAFF) method of skydiving instruction.

UNI NAB NY HT1957

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