Tue, Oct 11, 2011 - Page 3 News List

ROC 100: Warplanes highlight Taipei show

KINKS:Army Dragon Group paratroopers jumped out of a Chinook from 1,524m, but only six of the 12 were on target, while one suffered a minor injury to the leg

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

Helicopters fly toward Taipei to take part in a military display as part of yesterday’s Double Ten National Day celebrations.

Photo: Lu Chun-wei, Taipei Times

A four-minute air show for the Double Ten National Day ceremony in Taipei yesterday marked the largest warplane fly-by ever staged in Taiwan.

The aerial show began with helicopters flying in formation, including three S-70C air force search-and-rescue helicopters, three S-70C navy marine-patrol helicopters, six OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters, six UH-1H utility helicopters, six AH-1W attack helicopters and three CH-47SD medium transport helicopters.

Six low-velocity aircraft, comprising three BH-1900 and three C-130H transport planes, passed by the Presidential Office after the helicopters.

Those were followed by two 15-strong formations of the nation’s most modern fighters — five F-16s, five Indigenous Defense Fighters and five Mirage 2000-5s.

The event ended with seven AT-3 jet trainers from the Thunder Tiger Aerobatics Team flying in formation and emitting red, white and blue smoke trails.

A total of 71 aircraft were involved in the show.

The military aircraft entered Taipei airspace from the Tamsui River (淡水河) estuary and flew over Boai Special District (博愛特區), the country’s political nerve center.

A parachute-jumping display followed the fly-by.

Twelve members of the army’s Dragon Group jumped from a CH-47SD helicopter at an altitude of 1,524m northeast of the Presidential Office.

The crowd was enthralled as the paratroopers floated down from the sky and applause erupted when six of them landed on the Presidential Office plaza.

However, only five landed directly on target on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office, while one member landed safely in a control area on Chongqing S Road. The remaining six landed in three separate parks near the Presidential Office.

Military spokesperson Colonel David Lo (羅紹和) said air turbulence had compromised a precision landing, adding that a parachutist had sustained a minor injury to a leg during landing.

This was the first time in years a skydiving show was held as part of the Double Ten National Day celebrations. In previous ceremonies, the event had been canceled because of poor weather.

A ground parade was also held, which involved PAC-3 missile batteries; Hsiung Feng III anti-ship missile batteries; Tien Kung III air defense missile batteries; Ray Ting 2000 multiple-rocket launch systems; unmanned aerial vehicles; 11,356 liter water purifier vehicles; nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance vehicles; decontamination vehicles associated with chemical weapons activity; and various multifunction squad cars.

A total of 168 vehicles took part in the parade.

Additional reporting by CNA

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