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#1467
National Indian record in powered hang gliding
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Chabua: An Indian Air Force team of powered hang gliders set a new national record of flying 3,700 km in the longest ever expedition of powered hand gliding, breaking the previous national record of 3,200 km.

The new record was achieved by the team comprising Squadron Leader Ramakant and Sergeant S.K. Yadav when their powered hang glider touched down the tarmac of the IAF airbase here in Upper Assam on Monday morning, ending their 24-day-long expedition.

The Trans-India Powered Hang Glider expedition, that was flagged off from Air Force station Hindon in Ghaziabad on October 24, was flagged-in here by Air Commodore N.K. Jain after the team performed spectacular gliding feats before an audience.

The team flew the Italian-made Polaris hang glider with an Austrian Rotax machine for 76 hours during their expedition.

Braving turbulent weather and an unstable flying machine, the team displayed their expertise by flying at an altitude of 12,000 feet in Jammu and Udhampur sections.

During the entire expedition they flew the 175 kg hang glider completely on their own without any ground support.

"The aim of the expedition was to spread the spirit of adventure and sportsmanship among the general public and to spread awareness about the Air Force through joyrides to children and general public in different places across the country. We had given joyrides to 307 persons including school children," said Sqn Ldr Ramakant after alighting from the hang glider.

Both him and Sgt Yadav were upbeat with their achievement as they are not pilots. Sqn Ldr Ramakant is from the Logistics department, while Sgt Yadav is a radio operator.

However, the Director-General, Civil Aviation, has recognised Sqn Ldr Ramakant's expertise in hang gliding and has certified him to be the only trainer of powered hang gliding in India.

The national record holders now plan to set an international record.
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