New Delhi: The fly-past by Indian Air Force aircraft during the Republic Day parade has thrilled people over the years, but many a heart skipped a beat watching the spectacular ‘Vertical Charlie' manoeuvre of its elite Su-30 MKI aircraft today.
Coming as they did at the fag end of the parade and notwithstanding the cloudy skies which had made the spectators doubt whether the fly-past would be on show this year, loud cheers greeted the IAF's elite fighter jets as they executed formations like the ‘Chakra', Poseidon', ‘Hercules', and ‘Trishul'.
The restless crowd was stunned into silence as a lone Su-30 MKI made its appearance, piercing through the cloud covers at an incredible speed of 900-kmph. Not a single eye blinked as the jet, piloted by flight commander VJ Singh, took a sudden perpendicular turn and vanished behind the clouds.
But before one could even anticipate, it started swivelling downwards at a breathtaking speed, setting everyone's hearts racing. Punam Kadam, a spectator, was left searching for words to describe her feelings on the spectacular manoeuvre. “It's that undefined feeling. Intimidating but one that leaves you wonder-struck in a minute.
“It was simply spectacular! There couldn't have been a better closure to the stateliness of the Republic Day parade!”she gushed.