Suryakiran in photos: How the top guns keep the Indian flag flying high

Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the 14th edition of Aero India at the Yelahanka Air Force station complex on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Representational pic

As the Suryakiran Aerobatics Team (SKAT) of the Indian Air Force begins its fresh public display season this year, The Federal tried to capture how the daredevil pilots put up the airshow that leaves the spectators with hearts in their mouths. The members of the nine-aircraft team, the only nine-aircraft team in Asia, begin training with one aircraft and go on adding one at time as they get better every step of the way.

As thousands of people gathered on the blue-flag certified sea beach in Puri on a rain-drenched Sunday morning, their eyes were fixed on the cloudy sky above. As the weather cleared briefly and the clock struck half past 10, the crowd turned excitedly impatient, craning their necks in every direction scanning the sky.

The Suryakiran Aerobatics team performs the 'Y' formation at Puri sea beach. Photo: Tazeen Qureshy

A few minutes later, the area revved up with the roar of the engines and the Hawk Mk 132 Suryakiran aircraft emerged, tearing through the clouds, as the crowd broke into a cheer. This was the Suryakiran Aerobatics Team’s (SKAT) second public display this season after performing the first airshow in Bhubaneswar a couple of days earlier.

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