An Experience Of A Lifetime
“Are you ready, Jugal?”
These were the four words that marked the most awaited moment of his life for India Today’s Senior Special Correspondent Jugal R Purohit who got an opportunity to fly Gripen at Aero India 2017.
Jugal flew Gripen alongside Captain Fredrik Barske of the Swedish Air Force, who briefed him about the fighter’s various capabilities: air-to-air attack, air-to-ground attack, reconnaissance, jamming enemy aircraft and networking with friendly fighters to lead a coordinated attack.
Jugal underwent a series of medical tests including blood profile, urine profile and electrocardiogram (ECG). He also received a backseat briefing to understand the usage of things like ejection seats and get a hang of communication during the flight. Within a few minutes, they pulled up to 20,000 ft, flying at the speed of sound.
“From looping to barrel roll to split to vertical climb up to 20,000 ft from low level, each of these manoeuvres we underwent made me realise the essence of training,” he says.
At the end of the flight, Jugal became the 1,807th member of the Gripen club which consists of a few royals, mostly uniformed personnel and a handful of enthusiasts.
Read the full story here.