President Droupadi Murmu Takes Maiden Sortie In Sukhoi-30 MKI
New Delhi: President Droupadi Murmu on Saturday took her maiden sortie in a fighter aircraft at Tezpur air base in Assam.
“President Droupadi Murmu took a historic sortie in a Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter aircraft at the Tezpur Air Force Station in Assam. President Murmu is the third President and second woman President to undertake such a sortie,” president’s office said in a tweet.
Group Captain Naveen Kumar Tiwari flew her in a Sukhoi-30 MKI that took off from the Indian Air Force base.
“Achcha laga (felt good),” the President told reporters after completing her 25-minute sortie.
Murmu, who was on a three-day trip to Assam, reached Tezpur from Guwahati. She was received at the air base by Air Marshal S P Dharkar, Governor Gulab Chand Kataria and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
After landing at Tezpur, Murmu received a guard of honour by IAF personnel, followed by an official briefing on her flight aboard the Sukhoi aircraft.
She then reached the hangar wearing the flying suit, and waved to the waiting journalists before climbing the ladder to board the aircraft.
The president also posed with her pilot and other officials in front of the aircraft.
After sitting in the cockpit, a woman officer helped her put on the helmet and complete other technicalities. She waved from the cockpit just seconds before the aircraft canopy was shut.
Alighting from the aircraft after the 25-minute sortie, she again posed with the group captain and waved to the waiting journalists.
Though no media interaction was scheduled with the president, she said “achcha laga” (felt good) when a waiting journalist asked her how the sortie was.
Murmu is the third president after APJ Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil to take a sortie in a fighter aircraft. Her predecessors, however, had taken their rides from Pune air base.
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