Puri: The Indian Air Force conducted a scintillating display of aerobatics here over the Bay of Bengal on Sunday to commemorate 75 years of the country’s Independence.
Nine aircraft of the Suryakiran Aerobatic Team of the Eastern Air Command conducted the aerobatic display off the Blue Flag Beach here in the morning and was witnessed by thousands of enthralled tourists to the seaside pilgrim town.
Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal attended the event, which drew loud cheers from the people.
The fleet of the Suryakiran aircraft made several flypasts and conducted manoeuvres like the arrow, rocket roll, diamond and synchro. In one of the moves, an aircraft even flew upside down and did spins as it returned.
In a thrilling display of crossovers, two Sryakiran aircraft came face to face from opposite directions at over 1,500 kmph and then flew apart to the left and right leaving the spectators spell bound.
The aerobatic team could not, however, perform some formations as there was limited visibility due to the presence of monsoon clouds.
A team member said that during a similar exercise over the Kuakhai river bank in Bhubaneswar on Friday it was not possible to drop to a lower height due to the buildings nearby.
“But in the sea off Puri we were able to fly the aircraft at 100-300 feet,” she told reporters after the show.
“The weather was bad in the morning, but we are so glad that we managed to hold the show,” she added.
The IAF had held an air show in Cuttack in 2016 to mark the birth centenary of former chief minister Biju Patnaik.