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23 July 2021 16:33

Sarang team on Mk-I helicopters performs at MAKS-2021

Sarang team on Mk-I helicopters performs at MAKS-2021


On this euphoric occasion of MAKS 2021, team Sarang-the brand ambassadors of the Indian Air Force and one of a kind four helicopter military display team is honored to be invited to Russia, to participate in one of the largest aviation carnival.

"But for the rotors, we would have been closer," the team states it proudly.

As the rotors churn and the beautifully colored Advanced Light Helicopters Mk- I take-off to paint the skies, the team ensures plenty of breathtaking moments for the viewers.

Low and slow, yet swift and agile, this Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) manufactured indigenous helicopter and the team have been drawing attention internationally performing at Singapore, Chile, UAE, Germany, UK, Bahrain, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.

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"Sarang", is the Sanskrit name for "Peacock", the National bird of India. The synchronized aerial ballet of four lustrously painted metal birds draws comparisons with the graceful dance of a Peacock. While it is natural to expect daring maneuvers and precise formation by fixed wing aircraft, it is apprehensibly difficult to do the same in helicopters owing to the unstable nature of rotary wing.

Thus helicopter display teams across the globe aren’t more than a hand’s breadth. Display flying involves walking the tight rope between wisdom of Solomon and being a dumb cluck. While maneuvering in close proximity to three other rotors, there is no room for doubt or error.

To demand the very best out of this bird and coax her to give that extra bit in display flying, the Team needs the best of its pilots. Confidence in one’s own flying ability, faith in team members, and absolute trustworthy machines are essential.

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Blazing the trail is the Team Leader, Wg Cdr Girish Komar, a qualified flying instructor and an Instrument rating instructor and examiner, captain of Sarang 1. He has been one of the pioneers seeing through the fledging Sarang team to today’s one of its kind in the world.

Copilot of Sarang 1, is the flamboyant and vibrant, Sqn Ldr Manoj Manuvel. One person who keeps the team alive and the spirits high.

With a steady hand on the tiller, Wg Cdr Y Sridhar is the Deputy leader of the team. He is a badminton enthusiast and is the captain of Sarang 2. His copilot is the stark and sturdy Flt Lt Dhanveer Singh, who also happens to be the youngest display pilot of the team.

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Braced firmly into his position as Sarang 3, is Sqn Ldr Veer, true to his name (Veer aka Brave), he is known for his grit, come what may. Aiding him do the trick, copilot of Sarang 3 is Sqn Ldr Patnaik also fondly called as Pattu/Patty. He is one of the sapient and skilled members of the team.

Captain on Sarang 4, is Wg Cdr Niket. A man full of vim and vigor and is undoubtedly the zappiest person in the clan. Perking him up as Copilot, is another qualified captain of Sarang 4, Sqn Ldr Adarsh Thakur. He is full of zeal and fervor, when it comes to photography.

Bright and breezy, Wg Cdr Sneha is the first woman display captain of the team and flies as Sarang 2. Assisting in safety and accuracy of the display, having a hawk eye on these birds from ground, is Wg Cdr Gopi Krishna. Though not present with us here, we have Sqn Ldr Aditya, Sqn Ldr Pundhir, Flt Lt Akash holding the forte back home at base.

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Maintenance and flight line management is a pesky task, owing to the many variables involved. Wg Cdr H Purohit, Technophile of the team, is the Senior engineering officer. He has a penchant for guitar and music.

Going the extra mile, in this quest is Wg Cdr Narendra. Skating his own lane, he is known for his cool and composed presence. Sqn Ldr Sathish and Sqn Ldr Selvan are the boisterous and brisky techie youngsters of the team.

They ensure that all stipulated time frames are achieved and help the team out in the much demanding task. Last but not the least, Sqn Ldr Arpita is the voice of Sarang, the team commentator who puts more life in the display, connecting the spectators on ground with the high adrenaline action.

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In 2021 MAKS celebrates its 15th anniversary. The air show takes place from July 20 to 25.


Photos: Embassy of India


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