One of the crowd favorite during the National Day Parade is the aerial salute. Few weeks ago, I managed to go behind the scene to visit RSAF 149 SQN to see them prepare for one of the NDP rehearsal.
It may seem easy on television but a lot of effort were put in to ensure the precise positioning of all 5 F15SG when they fly pass the parade at afterburner. The pilots need to make constant adjustment to ensure the F15SG fly in formation. Things like weather, wind and even 1 second delay in the parade makes a huge difference to the pilots. It’s not as easy as it seems.
And it doesn’t help with the limited airspace that they can work with. The planes have to circle around Straits of Singapore while waiting for their turn to show up at Marina Bay. And keeping in mind that there are other planes around the area like the Chinook and Apache for national flag fly pass. They also need to be mindful of the tall buildings around the area.
Even though the aerial salute may last just 10 to 20 seconds, lots of time, efforts and hard work were put in to make sure everything goes smoothly. Salute to the men and women of 149 SQN.