Each afternoon, the flying display is brought to a close by a breathtaking performance from the Indian air force's Surya Kiran aerobatic display team. With smoke in the colours of the Indian flag - saffron, white and green - trailing them, the nine Hindustan HJT-16 Kiran IIs paint pictures in the sky as they loop and wheel over the Straits of Johore.

Flying in the No 8 slot is Sqn Ldr Sanjay Khajuria, and as well as serving as the team's PR expert, he also flies as one of the synchro pair toward the end of the show.

When he's not performing aerobatics, Khajuria is a Sepecat Jaguar pilot with the IAF - but it's display flying that he enjoys the most. "It's challenging and fun, even in a relatively old aircraft like the Kiran II which was built in 1965," he says.

"We get very good reliability from both airframe and Rolls-Royce Orpheus 701 engine and it's only the aircraft's limited range that means we have to get to Singapore via Burma, Thailand and Malaysia, doing a couple of shows en route, one in Bangkok last week and the other in Yangon on the way back."

A pilot for 13 years and a member of the team for three, Khajuria is looking forward to the day when they are able to fly the HAL Intermediate Jet Trainer (HJT-36) aircraft that is currently being developed.

Source: Flight Daily News