UK Aerobatic Team Returns to Dazzle Hyderabad Skies

Mark Jefferies and Tom Cassells along with the members of Global Stars team which will be performing aerobatic display during the sixth edition of India Aviation, starting Wednesday, in Hyderabad on Monday. | A Suresh Kumar

HYDERABAD: They are back, and this time, with a bang.The success of the aerobatic display by veteran British champions Mark Jefferies and Tom Cassells at the India Aviation Show two years ago at Begumpet has paved way for their return to the city of pearls with a team of nine members, including five pilots, four engineers and four aircrafts.

Speaking to Express on Monday the duo listed out the recent additions to their armoury, skill involved in aerobatic flying and the need for holding ‘competition flying’ in a country like India where aerobatic displays are a huge attraction.It may be recalled that after a freak accident during the 2010 event held at Begumpet, the aerobatic display was banned by the civil aviation ministry. The ban was later lifted in the coming years.

After introducing a ‘Heart formation’ mid-air using an advanced synchronised smoke system for the first time in the world, in Hyderabad during the last event, Mark Jefferies (57), says the event this year promises some new tricks for visitors.“We do loops, spins, roll-overs, free falls, hammer heads, tails lightning etc. However, this time there will be a new trick. The aircraft would go up rolling, fly away from the crowds and tumble end-over-end in the air, falling towards the ground and then… fly away,” says Jefferies, owner of the Global Stars Teams.

Quick to point out that the skill involved is unique and requires years of dedicated practice, Tom Cassells (61), team leader (formations), says, “Competition pilots like us have to keep the range of flying within a cubic kilometre. Manoeuvring in such a tight range requires skill.”

-more at The New Indian Express

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