Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award winner, Wing Commander Kamal Singh Oberh, created a new national record by skydiving with the largest flag in India at the National Defence Academy.
The record skydive jump was undertaken by the Wg Cdr Oberh on 29 May 2016 at the airfield in NDA with a flag measuring 51 feet 10 inch in breadth and 81 feet 3 inch in length(4,211.45 ft2).
The record jump was undertaken from a Mi-17 V-5 helicopter that flew at 7,000 feet in the early hours so as to take advantage of nil wind weather conditions. The all up weight carried by the officer was 77 kgs with the weight of the flag being 52 kgs and the parachute 25 kgs.
The flag was fabricated using special nylon fabric that is used for making parachute canopies. The flag was initially fabricated by the Ordnance Clothing Factory at Avadi in the out skirts of Chennai. The final technicalities handled by Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment at Agra which also manufactured the main parachute with which Wg Cdr Oberh undertook the jump.
Wg Cdr Kamal Singh Oberh is a highly trained and qualified Parachute Jump Instructor. He has over 1,300 parachute descents to his credit of who more than 150 are by night. He has represented India in various skydiving competitions. He is the first Indian to have skydived over the white continent of Antarctica, which he did on turn of the new millennium on 1st January 2000. It was for this feat that the officer was conferred with the Norgay Award. On 21 April 2002, while the Officer was posted as an Instructor at NDA, undertook a similar skydiving expedition over the geographical North Pole, thereby becoming the first Indian to skydive over both the extremes of our planet.
He is also the first Indian B.A.S.E. jumper who has BASE jumped from all four platforms that the sport offers, viz., Buildings, Antennas, Spans (bridges) and Earth (cliffs).
The current record has surpassed the previous national record, created 19 years ago, with a flag almost twice its size. It took 27 cadets to pack the flag together into its specially designed container. The cadets chosen for this task underwent a brief training session for understanding the technicalities of packing a flag that is so huge that it completely covers a basketball court.
The new national record was created during various activities that took place at the National Defence Academy prior to its passing out parade.