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Powered hang glider flagged in after creating all-India record

Written by: Staff
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Chabua Air Force Station, Asom, Nov 21 (UNI) With an aim to set a new country record, Squadron Leader Ramakant and Sergeant S K Yadav have brought laurels to the Indian Air Force (IAF) by taking on a Trans-India Powered Hang Glider expedition.

The expedition, which was flagged off from Air Force station at Hindon, Delhi, on October 24, was flagged in at the Air Force station in Chabua yesterday.

The two fliers covered a distance of 3,700 km in 28 days, breaking the previous record of 3,200 km, in a powered hanger glider.

Talking to journalists at the Chabua air base yesterday, chief pilot of the expedition Sqd Ldr Ramakant said, '' We have set a new all-India record and will definitely try to create a world record by undertaking a mission across the globe.'' Sqd Ldr Ramakant also informed that on way to create a record of covering the highest distance on such an aircraft, they also touched another milestone of flying at the highest altitude without supplementary oxygen supply.

He said, '' We flew at 1,200 feet from Jammu to Udhampur without any oxygen supply.'' The ultra light aircraft, used in the expedition, weighed about 400 kg, of these 171 kg was the body of the glider and the rest included the pilots as well as their luggage and other machineries, he said.

The Italian made aircraft with an Austrian engine can hold maximum of 55 litre of petrol and can transcend a distance of 350 km in four hours continuously at its optimum level, IAF sources said.

Sqd Ldr Ramakant and Serg Yadav were the only qualified flying inspectors of such type of gliders in the country.

However, both the pilot and the co-pilot are not flying men in the IAF.

Sqd Ldr Ramakant said, '' I work in the logistics wings while my co-pilot is a radio operator and this made the expedition more challenging as all air regulations mandatory for regular flights were applicable for us also.'' He said facing heavy rains and all other air turbulences fully exposed made keeping to air very difficult at times.

The expedition covered 22 air force stations from the extreme northwest to the extreme northeast and offered more than 300 joyrides to civilians during its stopovers.

UNI SG PP SI KN1612

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