Air show helped us connect with youth: IAF officials

Air show helped us connect with youth: IAF officials
Speaking with Greater Kashmir, Group Captain Kamran Nazir of the IAF said response to the show was “overwhelming and people enjoyed it”.Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: As the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Sunday enthralled people along banks of Dal lake with the jets performing aerial acrobatics in the skies, its officers said the event helped them to “connect better with the youth”.

Several of the IAF officers and even trainee pilots could be seen interacting with the school children, who had come to watch the air show.

Speaking with Greater Kashmir, Group Captain Kamran Nazir of the IAF said response to the show was “overwhelming and people enjoyed it”.

“I think our job went well. The key takeaways from the show are that we could reinforce our connect with the people of the Valley. This show also helped us to motivate and inspire students,” said Nazir.

“Hope we have more such shows in future to strengthen the connect with the youth of the Valley,” he said.

Commenting on acrobats who performed in the air show, Group Captain Nazir said: “Air shows are always risky and exciting. It requires a lot of professionalism. The encouraging part was that during today’s show we did not have to face strong winds”.

The officer said strong winds could have caused a problem for the Akash Ganga paratrooping group which performed in front of the audiences. “The hills and presence of a large number of birds posed a major challenge for the show. As far as the threat of bird hit is concerned, we managed it well and avoided hills in a way that the show does not get affected,” the officer said.

He said teams were deployed around the Dal lake who provided “real-time information of the presence of birds according to which the aircrafts are asked to maneuver around”.

Group Captain Nazir said the aim of the show was to create awareness among the youth regarding the aviation sector and Air Force. “The entire show was tailored for children and youth of the Valley and I am seeing very good results. If you walked through the crowd the children had so many questions about the aircrafts,” he said.

The officer said woman pilot leading a team of aircrafts “conveys the message of women’s empowerment and being gender neutral”.

Earlier in the day, a mighty twin-engine Boeing Chinook CH-47 heavy-lift helicopter which touched waters of Dal lake enthralled the audiences.

The formation of MiG-21 Bison fighter aircrafts held a flypast while Sukhoi SU-30 and SU-20 held an impressive aerobatic display.

Display by paramotors and para-jumpers also mesmerised the audience, who had come in large numbers to witness the show.

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