ADVENTURE AND SPORTS
|ADVENTURE ACTIVITIESTo achieve above Air Force Adventure Directorate conducts several activities, which are divided into Land, Water and Aero sports.AERO SPORTSAerosports hold a special appeal for those who want to soar above the ordinary. If you prefer the feel of the wind, rather than water on earth, one can try his hand at some of the following aerosports .
Microlight is ultra light category of flying machine with conventional control to expose our personnel and civilians to adventure flying. The adventure cell teams have participated in Air races, demonstrations and expeditions. A successful around the World expeditionin CTSW aircraft was undertaken in record time of 80 days by Wg Cdr Rahul Monga SC and Wg Cdr Anil Kumar SC.
Parasailing Parasailing A very safe and popular activity open to all personnel, ladies and children weighing more than 40 Kg. It involves being harnessed to a parachute which is pulled by a jeep/gypsy and takes the volunteer to height of 200 to 250 ft above ground level and landing in a controlled manner. Parasailing camps are conducted at various stations. The Directorate trains and qualifies instructors in parasailing.
Aqua sailing This involves parasailing over lakes, back waters and sea with thehelp of a 110 HP engine mounted on a modified speed boat. Regular camps are conducted by the Directorate at Kappil lake near Thiruvananthapuram.
Skydiving "Air Devils" is the best known skydiving team in IAF and the team consists of officers and airmen from all branches and trade of IAF. Qualified parachutists may volunteer for skydiving basic course conducted by the Dte. The three week course involves six days ground training followed by 20 jumps from heights ranging from 4,000 to 10,000 ft AGL wherein jumper exists, falls free for pre-determined duration and deploys his parachute. Thereafter he maneuvers to land at pre-designated target. Those found proficient participate in demo jumps organised in various parts of the country and may compete in the National Championship. Main achievements by IAF in Skydiving are:
- 1996 - IAF skydiving team represented India in the 1st World Air Games held at Izmir, Turkey.
- 26 Apr 1999 - Wg Cdr Sanjay Thapar VM was the first Indian to skydive at North Pole.
- 01 Jan 2000 - Sqn Ldr Kamal Singh Oberh, first Indian to dive at 'S' Pole, first Indian to dive at both Poles ( 'N' Pole on 20 Apr 02).
- 2005 - Wg Cdr Kamal Singh Oberh and Wg Cdr KBS Samyal, first Indians to do Base Jumps from KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- 2006 - Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi PVSM, AVSM, VM first ever Chief of any Armed Forces to do skydiving.
- 2007 - Highest number of simultaneous skydiving in India (75 airwarriors/ four aircrafts) in Chandigarh.
- 2007 - IAF Skydiving team represented India in the 4th World Military Games 2007 in Hyderabad, India.
- 2009 - IAF Skydiving demonstration team of 15 members participated in Avalon Air Show in Australia.
- 2009 - In the 2nd Services Parachute Trials held from 07 Jul - 13 Jul 09 IAF team stood first, which would further represent India in Slovakia in the 34th World Championship.
Paragliding Another thrilling aero sport which involves running down the slope of a hill top with a flexible aerofoil shaped parachute that enables one to glide. Basic, Intermediate and Advance courses are conducted at Pune and Manali for proficient individuals can participate in Demo and Competitions. Individual can also be launched through a winch if slope are not available.
Paramotors This is an advanced version of paragliding with an engine mounted as back pack. This source of engine power enables a launch from any surface and the flight can be sustained up to 3 hours.
Powered Hang Glider Having gained confidence to control the manual hang glider by weight shift controlled manner , upto intermediate level, volunteers can be inducted for powered hang gliding. These are tricycle shaped rigid frames hang glider powered with motorcycle engines and controlled by non conventional body weight shift method.
Mountaineering is for volunteers, looking for greater challenge which includes high altitude climbing in rocky and snow terrain, acclimatization, teamwork, planning and survival in difficulties. This Dte trains volunteers in basic and advance mountaineering every year. The Indian Air Force has achieved several milestones in the field of mountaineering including the successful summit of Mt Everest by an IAF team in 2005 wherein three air warriors reached the summit on 30 May 2005. This was followed by the IAF Women's Everest expedition in 2011 where 3 lady officers of the IAF and 04 other air warriors reached the summit of Mt Everest. The Dte of Adventure generally undertakes two expeditions in a year.
Trekking is the most natural way of exploring the majestic beauty of the country. It basically involves venturing into unknown places through jungles, mountains and plains, making your own way while studying the flora, fauna and acclimatizing the individuals in different altitudes and gaining experience regarding different terrains.
Rock Climbing This innocuous sounding sport is in fact highly technical activity requiring alertness of mind backed up by strong shoulders and will to defy gravity. Volunteers are exposed to rock climbing as part of mountaineering course and separate courses at IMF Delhi where they are exposed to natural and artificial rock surfaces with varying degrees of difficulty. IAF has 05 sport climbing wall spread over the country.
Car Rally Organized periodically, this involves driving across country in competitive manner and affords a chance to volunteers to test their driving skills endurance, stamina, maintenance / mechanical knowledge and planning ability. The Dte has participated in some national rallies including the prestigious Raid De Himalaya and the Jt. Services car rally.
Cycling A very popular adventure activity planned and conducted at station/unit levels which affords opportunity to even untrained personnel to participate. Feasible in all weather conditions and all terrains. Besides the physical challenge, its eco-friendly nature makes this adventure sport relevant to our modern times. Sqn Ldr Rohan Anand along with Major G Srinivas cycled from Khardungla to Kanyakumari, covering a distance of 3921 kms in 15 days and 22 hours.
MTB Mountain Terrain Biking is a new sport introduced in IAF in which difficult terrain in mountains are negotiated in specially made rugged cycles. It is a popular X games all over the world. IAF has acquired large number of mountain cycles and accessories, trained few of the air warriors and fielded IAF team in various National / State level competitions. IAF won overall Bronze medal in the Himachal Hercules MTB competition . All women team of 09 lady officers successfully undertook a high altitude cycling expedition from Pathankot to Leh covering a distance of 1400 kms , including a high altitude circuit of Pangong Tso lake and crossing several high passes and traversing altitudes above 16000 ft.
Skiing Going downhill in any manner is always an enjoyable experience. When this is done on a pristine mass of sparkling snow, with two high speed ski surfaces beneath one's feet, the joy of going downhill becomes indescribably beautiful.
Kayaking/Canoeing involves sitting in light wooden/fiber glass boats and manoeuvring them by oars/paddles through rapids and rocks, while rowing down a fast flowing river or over lake, back waters or at sea. This Dte conducts courses at Pongdam (HP), Cochin and NDA.
Wind Surfing is physically demanding and very exciting water sport activity, combining the elements of surfing and sailing. It consists of a board usually 2 to 3 mtrs long, powered by wind on a sail. This is conducted at NDA, INS Chilika, Mumbai, Kochi.
Scuba Diving is one of the most thrilling adventure activities, in which a diver uses a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba) to breathe underwater. Scuba diving courses are conducted at Kochi, Lakshadweep and Andamans.
White Water Rafting The challenge of a turbulent river is no less than that of the rugged mountains. The sport of white water river rafting calls for a triumph over the swift, sirling river as it gushes past spectacular mountains. Rafting courses are conducted at Shivpuri and the Dte also participates in national rafting championships.
Open Water Swimming Open water swimming takes place in outdoor bodies of water such as open oceans, rivers and lakes. A 6 member team of the IAF successfully swam the English Channel in 2012 in relay format. In 2014, another six member team swam 190 kms around Mumbai in relay format.