Navy achieves skydiving feat
New Delhi (PTI): Setting a new national record of an unique nature, Indian Navy's skydiving team completed a successful 45-second free fall over a populated island off Kochi in Kerala.
In a first, Southern Naval Command Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Sunil Lanba participated in a Tandem Assisted Free Fall (TAFF) jump over the Wellington Island last week.
The Indian Navy Skydiving Traning Team's (INSDTT) training officer Lieutenant Commander M V Birajdar became the first Indian birdman.
"Birajdar flew the entire length of the Mattan Cherry Channel before landing his parachute in INS Garuda, also last week," Navy officials said on Friday.
Indian Navy becomes only the second armed forces team in the world to fly Naval Crest in the skies in the Birdman suit. The popular Golden Knights parachuting team of the USA is the only other team that had achieved the feat, officials said.
The two landmarks in the skydiving history of the Indian Navy were achieved on June 4 and 5.
"Lanba undertook the TAFF and a Tandem Formation Skydive during a 45-second free fall to the base altitude of 5,000 feet prior to deployment of the big Tandem Canopy," they said.
The dives became unique, as it was carried out over a small island with highly populated areas, and surrounded by treacherous channels with very strong currents.