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PAF s' Aerobatics Profile
Sixteen Falcons
"While the 'Falcons' were positioning for their loop, 2 Sabres - trailing a banner each with the Pakistan insignia and a greeting - made a low pass across the airfield in front of the royal enclosure. Then, at approximately 9.55, the 16 Sabres, brilliantly led by Wing Commander M Z Masud, went proudly up into their loop, keeping immaculate station and forming a precise diamond pattern against the sky, like that made by the 9 Hunters of the RAF's Treble One Squadron - to whom reference was made by the commentator, whose remarks throughout were in English. As this was the first time 16 aircraft had ever been publicly looped in formation, February 2, 1958, will count as a memorable day in the annals of the PAF. Certainly the efficiency of this demonstration - and of the mock attacks made later in the programme - gave tangible proof of the high standard and discipline of its training.

"This was also emphasized in the next item, when 7 Sabres out of the 16 did a whole sequence of formation aerobatics. They started with a low pass across the air field, a climb and a wing over; next they did a loop during which they changed stations to form the letter 'F' (standing for 'Falcons') and subsequently an arrowhead. In the next item Squadron Leader Khalid Khan's demonstration of a Sabre's roll ability was energetic and thoroughly visible despite the lack of natural background. He began with a very fast low run preceding five quick upward rolls, which were succeeded by four downward ones. Then he executed a four point roll and followed it with an eight pointer, reminiscent of Geoff Worrall's famous evolution at Farnborough.

"Squadron Leader Khan rounded off his demonstration with an inverted run followed by nine rolls for good measure; then 4 of the Falcons re-appeared to do more formation aerobatics - the last on the programme. They executed a loop, during which they formed line astern, then another when they changed to a box. Finally they did a roll, changing from echelon right to left during the maneuver, and ended with a wing over to the right which brought them back to box formation for landing.

"Meanwhile an Auster had towed off an Olympia glider, with red fuselage and cream upper wing surface, flown by Flight Lieutenant S U Khan. When the sailplane was eventually released, at about 2,500 ft, the pilot gave an engaging five-minute display of aerobatics. He started with one turn of a spin, then did five quick loops in succession with hardly any loss of height. He followed these with two stall turns and two steep turns, and finally made a pulling up to make a landing circuit. This demonstration was particularly interesting because gliding is one of means the PAF uses to attract young lads into its ranks. The Pakistan equivalent of our ATC is the Shaheen Air Training Corps, and one of its main activities is to provide gliding facilities for air-minded boys at various PAF stations. It also runs technical groups and such sports activities as boxing.

"As they had begun it, so the Sabres rounded off the Karachi display - this time with an armament demonstration. Three separate targets had been set up on the airfield, and they were in turn subjected to gun, rocket and napalm attacks. Four Sabres led by Squadron Leader H K Inam, carried out strafing; 6 led by Squadron Leader G Haider made rocket attacks; and the napalm tanks were dropped from 2 Sabres led by Squadron Leader M Z Butt. All these attacks were remarkably accurate, the target subjected to rocket fire disappearing in sensational fashion under a huge cloud of dust, which unfortunately drifted across the spectators and caused a slight delay in the napalm attacks. The fiery and almost nuclear mushroom of smoke which billowed up from the latter made a dramatic ending to the display, which gave convincing evidence of the enthusiasm and operational efficiency of the comparatively small but obviously well muscled Pakistan Air Force.

"At the conclusion of the event thousands of spectators swarmed across to the line of parked Sabres which had not been flown, and climbed enthusiastically over them, pressing and pulling everything movable and even getting into the cockpits. This, while alarming and annoying to the few PAF members trying vainly to keep them off, at least indicated the fascination and enthusiasm which had been aroused in the public by the display.

"Meanwhile, the King of Afghanistan, the President of Pakistan and the visiting Air Force representative had been taken to the officers mess for lunch; and during it the King presented by the President with a replica of the PAF badge as a tangible reminder of his attendance at a most successful and instructive display."
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