IAF man creates skydiving record with largest Tricolour
Bengaluru: An Indian Air Force (IAF) officer has created a national record skydiving from a chopper with the largest National Flag. The current record has surpassed the previous one, created 19 years ago.
According to Ministry of Defence officials, Wing Commander Kamal Singh Oberh, who created a new national record at the National Defence Academy (NDA), is the recipient of the prestigious Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award.
Wg Cdr Oberh is a highly qualified Parachute Jump Instructor with over 1,300 parachute descents to his credit, including 150 successful attempts in the night.
“The officer is the first Indian to have skydived over the white continent of Antarctica, which he did on turn of the new millennium on January 1, 2000. It was for this feat that he was conferred with the Norgay Award,” says an official.
In April 2002, he undertook a similar skydiving expedition over the geographical North Pole, thereby becoming the first Indian to skydive over both the extremes of the planet.
His recent record-breaking attempt was carried out on May 29 at an airfield inside the NDA campus.
He jumped with a flag measuring 51 feet 10 inch in breadth and 81 feet 3 inch in length (4,211.45 ft).
The helicopter was flying at 7000 feet
During the attempt, the Mi-17 V-5 helicopter was flying at a height of 7,000 feet in the early hours, taking advantage of the nil-wind weather conditions.
“The all-up weight carried by the officer was 77 kg with the weight of the flag being 52 kg and the parachute 25 kg,” says an official.
The flag was fabricated using special nylon fabric that is used for making parachute canopies and initially fabricated by the Ordnance Clothing Factory at Avadi, near Chennai.
The final technicalities of the flag were handled by the scientists of Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE) at Agra, a DRDO establishment. ADRDE also manufactured the main parachute with which Wg Cdr Oberh undertook the record jump.
27 cadets packed the flag into a container
Interestingly, it took 27 cadets to pack the flag together into its specially designed container.
The cadets hand-picked for the task had to undergo a training session to understand the technicalities of packing a massive flag. Fully-spread, the flag could cover a basketball court.
Wg Cdr Oberh is also the first Indian BASE jumper. BASE is the acronym for Buildings, Antennas, Spans [bridges] and Earth [cliffs], and the officer has jumped from all four platforms.