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First BASE jump by Army skydiver

Special Correspondent

Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

Daring drop:Lt. Col. Satyendra Verma performs India's first BASE jump from the 235-metre Pitampura TV tower in New Delhi on Friday. The daredevil act, part of the centenary celebrations of the Army's Corps of Signals, will inspire youth to join the armed forces, it is hoped.—

NEW DELHI: Morning-walkers and early birds in West Delhi on Friday witnessed seasoned sky-diver Lt. Col. Satyendra Verma, captain of the Army Adventure Skydiving team, carrying out the first BASE jump in the country.

At 6.25am, Col. Verma jumped from the Pitampura television tower, from a height of 158 metres. BASE jump is one of the activities being promoted by the Army. It is a form of freefall, where an experienced skydiver jumps from a fixed object (Building, Antenna, Span or Earth Cliff) instead of a flying machine. It involves the use of a specialised parachute which is specifically manufactured to ensure faster and more reliable openings.

Director-General of Military Training, Lt. Gen. Ramesh Halgali, under whose aegis the activity was executed, said that at present, the Army is imparting training in 17 adventure activities including mountaineering, climbing, whitewater rafting, paragliding, paramotoring, skydiving and yachting.

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