No aerobatic team display at Air Force Day this year
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There will be no aerobatic team display at the Indian Air Force (IAF) Day parade this year as the famed Sarang helicopter team is out of action and the Surya Kiran formation team was disbanded last year.
The 80th anniversary celebrations are scheduled to be held at the Hindon air base next week.
While the IAF has kept a tight lid on the issue, sources said the helicopter display team is out of action following a crash that took place during a practice session last year. According to reports, there was no serious injury to the crew, but one of the choppers of the display team was badly damaged.
Following the accident, certain modifications were required on the helicopters which were to be carried out by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). But this is yet to happen.
IAF officials confirmed that this year's display will not have an aerobatic team, but said that other aircraft, including fighters and recently acquired transport aircraft, will perform a flypast.
Traditionally — barring the period when the IAF was without an aerobatic team — all Air Force Day parades have featured air displays, starting from the Thunderbolts to the Surya Kirans.
After the disbanding of the Surya Kiran team last year to increase availability of aircraft for training, the IAF was left with only one air display team — the Sarang helicopter formation.