Sagar Pawans - The Phantoms
The formal unveiling of the Sagar Pawan aerobatic team was done on 11 May 2003, on the occasion of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Indian Naval Aviation in Kochi. Thereafter the Sagar Pawans have performed in Kochi, Mumbai, Vizag and Goa and has enthralled many an audience with their spectacular array of breathtaking combination aerobatic manoeuvres like loops, barrel rolls, upward rolls, high speed run, bomb burst and rotates. In line with the Indian Air Force nine aircraft formation aerobatic team, Surya Kirans, the Sagar Pawan team also operates the indigenous HAL Kiran Mk II aircraft. The Kiran is a basic jet trainer built by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL). Powered by a fairly powerful Rolls Royce Orpheus 701-01 turbojet, with excellent maneuverability design features, it is considered a near ideal aircraft for aerobatics. A typical display commences with a dramatic arrival loop. In a deafening roar, the three aircraft appear from no where, flying close, and straight for the audience. As they pitch up for the loop and draw a perfect circle in the sky, the spectators are left spellbound by the shear sound of three jets streaking right above them. Thereafter, the team performs a high speed run with three aircraft in line astern, with one behind the other at a distance of barely five feet, whizzing past the audience at speeds close to 600 km/h. The subsequent maneuvers include loops or barrel rolls or a combination of a loop and a barrel roll. These images - except for the IFFI Goa photos - were taken on 10 February 2006, at INS Dega in Visakhapatnam, during the Presidential Fleet Review at the Eastern Naval Command [ENC].
Photographs © Mrityunjoy Mazumdar, Simon Watson and IFFI, Goa