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Sivasagar flying carnival promises a high

Jorhat, Dec. 30: Fasten your seatbelt and brace yourself for the adrenaline rush at the country’s biggest flying carnival in Sivasagar from February 2.

The two-day event, Sivasagar Flying Carnival, has been organised by the Cross-Country Flying Club in association with the Assam Tourism Development Corporation and the Sivasagar district administration.

The general secretary of the club, Rajiv Hazarika, said the event has been organised to promote aero-sports in the region and already 25 paramotor pilots from all over the country have confirmed participation.

While two participants are from Guwahati and one from Shillong, the others are from Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Aurangabad. The first such event was held in Aurangabad in Maharashtra in 2011 where 11 pilots had taken part, he said.

The event will be held at Doh Pathar, Kukurapohia area, about 1.5km from the national highway on the Sivasagar-Disangmukh road. The event would be held in about a two square km area, close to the national highway, he said.

Paramotoring, also known as paragliding, is the cheapest form of flying and can be done in a football field. A motor is attached to a flexible wing and in low wind conditions this sport can be quite a spectacle. In many countries, including the US, powered paragliding is minimally regulated and requires no licence. The ability to fly both low and slow safely, the “open” feel, the minimal equipment and maintenance costs, and the portability are claimed to be the greatest merits of this sport.

Hazarika said the pilots, who would take part in the event, are the best in the country and would show some spectacular moves in the two days.

The idea to open the Cross-Country Flying Club in Sivasagar was floated in April this year when Eric Menezes, the manager of Wings and Flights, a flying club in Pune, visited Sivasagar.

“I learnt flying under Menezes in Pune and when he visited Sivasagar and saw the open space where we are planning to hold the event, he was impressed and asked us to open a flying club. Soon after a few like-minded friends formed the club,” Hazarika said.

The club, which has two paramotors, currently has 10 core group members and about 25 others.

Hazarika said depending on the success of the two-day carnival, there are plans to make it an annual event, which would be a big tourist attraction.

“Sivasagar, with its ancient monuments, itself is a tourist destination and such an annual flying carnival will help attract more tourists to this part of the country,” he said.

Hazarika said the visitors would also be allowed to take joy rides on the two-seater paramotor during the festival days. There would also be a music festival on the closing day with various artistes confirming participation, he said.

An aero-modelling exhibition will also be held during the festival where remote-controlled aircraft and helicopters will be on display. These models, around 15, would arrive from Delhi and are expected to be a big hit among the visitors, he said.

Arunachal Pradesh governor Nirbhay Sharma is expected to be the chief guest at the event.


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