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Dakota aircraft joins IAF again

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A restored Dakota joined the today in an induction ceremony at Hindan station, more than four decades after the aircraft fleet was phased out following an illustrious service record.

The Dakota 905 was formally inducted into the IAF at a grand ceremony at Hindan where a key was received by the of B S Dhanoa from (retd) M K Chandrasekhar whose son and Rajya Sabha Rajeev Chandrasekhar bought and restored the aircraft.

Dhanoa dubbed Dakota as a "special" aircraft in the history of the and added that its "reliability and ruggedness" were proved by its journey back home from the UK where it was restored.

The Dakota was accepted by the of Air Staff from the Rajya Sabha Rajeev Chandrasekhar on February 13 this year. The aircraft was bought by the from "scrap" and got restored in the UK.

The restored Dakota rechristened as 'Parashuram' will join the 'Vintage Fly' of one each of Tiger Moth and Howard raised at Hindan air force station.

The aircraft commenced its journey from the UK on April 17 to with a joint crew of IAF and Reflight Airworks.

It flew a total of 9,750 km during its ferry en-route halts in France, Italy, Greece, Jordan, and Oman, and finally landed on Indian soil at air force on April 25.

It reached its final destination Hindan on April 26. Air Commodore(retd) MK Chandrasekhar was granted special permission by the to fly on board the aircraft from Jamnagar to air force

"This historic flight of the Dakota 905, across seven countries, was a commemoration of the service provided by this venerable aircraft to the nation," the Air Force said in a statement.

The Dakota popularly known as the Gooney Bird was the first major transport aircraft inducted in the fledgling It was at the forefront of operations from 1947 to 1971.

The aircraft played crucial role in operations in 1947 war and war. After 1971, the Dakota was replaced by Avro HS-748.

The were phased out and some of them were handed over to the BSF that used them up to 1978.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 04 2018. 22:55 IST
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