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PAF s' Aerobatics Profile
Showing the Flag
The general public in most countries finds flying displays an irresistible attraction, and flocks to them in tens of thousands. Whether staged as an image projection exercise or with a more specific objective such as commercial advertisement by aircraft manufacturers or in aid of a recruitment drive by an Air Force, a well orchestrated air display is a peerless spectacle. The PAF has found it practical and useful, to stage two kinds of displays over the last forty years: mass fly-pasts coordinated with joint services parades on national anniversaries, and exclusive air force displays comprising aerobatics, formation flying and fire power demonstrations.

The very first display by the RPAF, albeit a tiny one, was staged on Independence Day itself, when a solitary formation of 4 Tempests bravely flew over Karachi to mark the assumption of the office of Governor General of Pakistan by the Quaid-e-Azam. In this maiden fly-past was Flying Officer N A Siddiqui who had overnight painted the crescent and star on his aircraft to replace the RIAF markings. A few months later, in March 1948, a more elaborate demonstration was arranged at Lahore as a publicity measure and to take the people air minded. The programme included 'crazy' flying on a Tiger Moth, formation flying on Harvards and a thrilling tail chase on 2 Tempests in which, as the No. 2 aircraft, Flying Officer F S Hussain made his debut as an aerobatic virtuoso. The programme was rounded off with rockets firing and dive bombing on Tempests.

F S, as he became known throughout the air force and outside, followed up a few months later with a solo aerobatic display in a Fury for the Shah of Iran at Risalpur. The Shah, who was an amateur pilot himself, was so impressed with Hussain's polished maneuvers executed incredibly close to the ground, that he directed his accompanying court poet to write a poem in praise of F S. In the years to follow, while the RPAF as a whole continued to win public acclaim with its imaginative air displays, F S individually would become synonymous with his name.
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