Wing Commander Sanjay Thapar, First Indian Who Unfurled Tricolour At The North Pole
Hello Defence Lovers, Forget Para jumping, living a normal life at the North Pole is no joke as, throughout the year, the climate here remains cold and temperate. In April, however, the average temperature remains around -1 degree Celsius with a minimum temperature of -6.9 degree Celsius. Indian Air Force’s Wing Commander, Sanjay Thapar, took the national flag, by skydiving on the North Pole on 21 April 1996. Wing Commander Sanjay Thapar VM is the man of many firsts in the field of parachuting, two of his achievements are acknowledged as world records and seven others as National Records.
- He was the first Indian to introduce tandem skydiving in the Air Force. As befits a skydiver, Sanjay is quite an adventurous fellow.
- He served in the Indian Air Force, and has been skydiving for almost 30 years.
- Now in his sprightly 50s (he first jumped when in his early 20s), he’s lost none of his sense of adventure: Sanjay still does around 100 jumps every year! Widely travelled, he has also pursued mountaineering, paragliding, powered parachuting, hot-air ballooning, skiing and water skiing!
- With over 3000 jumps to his credit, Thapar holds a Guinness book record for the maximum jumps (46) on a single day (in only three hours) and he achieved this feat at Sasava in Saharanpur on March 11, 1991.
- But jumping in -1 degrees what it usually remains at the North Pole in the month of April and that too from the height of over 5000 sq ft.
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Thapar Was Quoted, “I have been a national champion, and hold a few world records besides, including attempting 46 jumps in the space of three hours, and jumping with the largest Tricolour on the eve of India’s 50th anniversary of Independence, in 1997. In addition, I have over 5000 parachute jumps to my credit in India, the highest number attempted in the country. I have also competed abroad, and led all three Indian skydiving teams that have toured. With so much experience under my belt, I’ve certainly had many memorable moments as a skydiver – both in terms of excitement and emergencies! In 1996, I attempted a jump at the North Pole, and in 1991, I led the Indian team that took part in the 6th World Cup, in Jakarta, Indonesia; we had to jump out of a Hercules aircraft to a small island – dominated by forest – in the middle of the sea .”
- Wing Commander Thapar also holds the record by jumping with the largest Tricolour weighing 65 kgs and measuring 2226 sq.ft. at Hindon, near Delhi on August 6, 1997.
- One can easily imagine the audacity it took to jump with parachute carrying a flag of once’s country weighing 65 kg, but for Thapar, it wasn’t that hard.
- “Paradiving is my passion,” he says, “and I’m lucky my job accommodates it.” And yes, he wants to do it again.