Panaji: ‘Sagar Pawan’, the aerobatic
demonstration team of the Indian Navy`s aviation arm, will
take a break from its displays for a few more months, senior
officials said on Saturday.
The break has been necessitated as the Kiran MK-II
aircraft, used by the Goa-based team, are to be engaged to
train the fighter pilots being inducted in the naval force.
In March 2010, an aircraft of Sagar Pawan crashed in
Hyderabad while performing in an air show, killing its pilot
and co-pilot. Since then the team, based at the Indian Naval
Air Station Hansa at Vasco, 40km from here, has not performed.
"They (Sagar Pawan) are still in the business. At the
movement we are concentrating on the training part (of fighter
pilots). They are not doing their active shows," Commodore
Ravneet Singh, Commanding Officer of INS Hansa, said.
A batch of trainee fighter pilots has arrived at INS
Hansa to train in Kiran aircraft.
Singh said the aerial displays have been put on hold
for a while as the Navy is inducting several fighter planes
like MiG-29K, which would be attached to ‘INS Vikramaditya`,
the aircraft carrier that would be commissioned soon. "We
require pilots to fly on new acquisitions," he added.
Commander N Thiagarajan, Commanding officer of INAS
551 squadron, to which Sagar Pawan is attached, said the
displays would restart once the training load eases. "The
fighter pilots who take their initial training with the Air
Force are later trained by INAS 551."
Sagar Pawan, founded in 2003, is only the second naval
aerobatic team in the world - the other being with US Navy.
Thiagarajan said the squadron is looking forward to
induct British Hawks into the team by 2013-14.