By Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty
Cuttack: A brilliant display of daredevil stunts and peacetime adventure sports by 'Sarang' advance light helicopter team, 'Surya Kiran' aerobatics team and 'Akash Ganga' paratroopers of Indian Air Force (IAF) over the vast stretch of Kathjodi river bed near Khannagar in the Millennium City of Cuttack enthralled the denizens of the town.
[caption id="attachment_183638" align="alignnone" width="485"] Team Sarang performing at the air show. Pic- Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty[/caption]
The IAF air show which was organised to commemorate the birth centenary of legendary Biju Patnaik, an accomplished pilot of IAF and known for his successful adventurism with the flying machine during the freedom movement and after, left many onlookers spellbound.
[caption id="attachment_183655" align="alignnone" width="750"] Sea of crowd witnessing the air show. Pic- Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty[/caption]
The air show organised by State Sports and Youth Affairs department started with six helicopters of IAF Sarang team performing various stunts.
[caption id="attachment_183634" align="aligncenter" width="1050"] Team Sarang performing stunt. Pic- Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty[/caption]
Following stunts by the Sarang team, the fighter jets of 'Surya Kiran' and paratroopers of 'Akash Ganga' team won the hearts of the onlookers with their daredevil display.
[caption id="attachment_183641" align="alignright" width="1050"] Team Surya Kiran doing stunt at air show in Cuttack Pic- Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty[/caption]
As many as 100 pilots, 10 IAF officials of Surya Kiran Aerobatics, Saranga Aerobatics and Akash Ganga Aerobatics teams of the IAF participated in the daredevil show with six helicopters and ten fighter aircraft.
[caption id="attachment_183652" align="alignleft" width="190"] Stunts by Akash Ganga members win hearts of many Pic- Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty[/caption]
Odisha Governor SC Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court Vineet Saran and other dignitaries were among the thousands of thrilled onlookers who witnessed the air show at the Kathjodi river bed in Khannagar.
Bird activity during air show despite precautions
Despite slew of attempts by district administration to restrict bird activity during the air show to avoid any kind of untoward incident, number of birds including kite and heron were seen flying during the show.
[caption id="attachment_183633" align="alignnone" width="750"] Kite found flying during the air show in Cuttack Pic- Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty[/caption]
Crowd barge into VIP stands
Though police had made elaborate security arrangements at entrance for the VIPs at the venue, it failed to manage to large crowd. People were seen forcefully entering the VIP stands. However, police later conducted a pass check and managed to disperse the crowd that entered the venue without valid pass.
Even though the district administration has managed to conduct the air show in a successful manner, the traffic management crippled as police completely failed to manage the vehicles and the huge crowd. People were seen fainting on the roads due to heavy congestion.