This is nothing surprising, given his indomitable appetite for breaking conventions and making firsts; yet again, we see a great man, cut above the rest, probably the only pride of this nation, when it comes to politics.
Read on, the rediff article below…
Had no time to be nervous on flight: Kalam
Last Updated: June 08, 2006 13:08 IST
President A P J Abdul Kalam, supreme commander of the armed forces, undertook a historic sortie in the Sukhoi-30 MKI, Indian Air Force's state-of-the-art supersonic fighter aircraft, which took off from Lohegaon airbase in Pune at 10.25 am on Thursday and landed around 40 minutes later.Wing Commander Ajay Rathore, Commanding Officer of the SU-30 MKI squadron, flew the President at a speed of 15,000 km per hour to a height of about 25,000 feet"I was not at all nervous, there was no time to be nervous," President Kalam told this correspondent soon after landing back at the airbase. "Rathore guided me well."
"After flying this sortie, I know realise that India is in safe hands, our borders are safe. We have such good pilots, and good defence personnel."
As the fighter plane was expected to fly at supersonic speeds, Kalam donned a G-suit before boarding the aircraft. He was also briefed by senior Air Force officials ahead of the 30-minute sortie.
Kalam is the first Indian President to fly in the all-weather, air-dominance supersonic fighter aircraft. Previously, in February, he had undertaken a submarine voyage.
Two Sukhois accompanied Kalam's flight during which he was shown how targets are located both in mid-air and on the ground with the radar's help, Air Commodore M Banerjee, told reporters.
Kalam, who is on a two-day visit to Pune, entered the airbase at 09.15 hours, and was received by Air Marshal Ajit Bhavnani, Vice chief of Air Staff; Air Marshal P K Mehta, Air Officer Commanding in-Chief, South Western Air Command; and Air Commodore M Banerjee, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Base, Pune. Air Warriors of the airbase presented a ceremonial guard of honour to the President at the lightning squadron tarmac.