President Pratibha Patil to fly IAF's fighter jet

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Pune, Nov.25 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil is all set to enter the record books by flying Sukhoi-30 on Wednesday from Pune Airbase, an attempt which is likely to register her name in Guinness Book of World Records.

President Patil, 74, is scheduled to fly in the Indian Air Force's (IAF) most potent multi-role combat aircraft, the Sukhoi-30 MKI, from the Lohegaon air base here.

The IAF has chalked out a special rectangular pattern of navigation route for Patil's maiden sortie which is scheduled to last 30 minutes. It will touch a maximum speed of 0.9 Mach (700 to 900 kmph).

President Patil will be accompanied award winning Wing Cmdr. S.Sajan who has 1500 hours of Sukhoi flying experience.

She is scheduled to fly at 7,500 ft above the airfield, depending on weather conditions.

On June 8, 2006,the then President A P J Abdul Kalam, 74, had created history by being the first Indian President to have undertaken a 30-minute sortie in the Su-30 MKI. It was an exercise positioned as a familiarisation flight besides being an act to inspire the youth of the country to join the armed forces.

In May 2004, the then Defence minister George Fernandes had undertaken a similar sortie, clocking 1.15 Mach (about 1,500 kmph). Fernandes, who was also in his early 70s, was exposed to a gravitational force of up to level 3G. (ANI)

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