Dynamic Saudi Hawks wow Bahrain crowds
Manama, January 18, 2014
Record-breaking aircraft display team, the Saudi Hawks, have been wowing the crowds at the Bahrain International Airshow.
The precision-trained pilots are rightly proud of their achievements, having each been handpicked after undergoing more than a decade's worth of military flight school in order to become a team member.
The selection process to become a "Hawk" is, understandably perhaps, quite arduous.
"First of all you have to be a fighter pilot," Captain Abdulraouf Sulamy told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"You have to have at least 10 years' experience after graduating from the academy (King Faisal Air Force College) and have become a leader of at least four aircraft as a fighter pilot."
Only once these criteria are met can pilots be nominated for consideration to become a Hawk and they can only join the team if they successfully complete a further six months of training and exams.
"You have to have a lot of experience handling aircraft because it's such a critical situation all the time when you are an air show pilot," said Capt Sulamy.
The team currently holds the Guinness World Record for the largest sky drawing by a jet display team, a 5,287,050-square metre Saudi Arabian emblem they created in the skies above Riyadh air base almost three years ago.
"We are always looking to do the biggest and best displays," said squadron leader Al Humaidi Al Nahsi.
"We want to do the largest heart, for example, and we are always looking forward to the next challenge and any competition that awaits us."
Visitors to Bahrain International Airshow have one more chance to see the famous record-breaking Saudi emblem, which consists of two crossed swords with a palm tree in the open space above the blades, as the Hawks will perform on the final day of the event today (January 18).-TradeArabia News Service