India has so far managed to move 3,862 people out of Sudan after launching Operation Kaveri. The C-17 mission comes after the IAF deployed a C-130J “Super Hercules” aircraft to rescue 121 Indians from a small airstrip at Wadi Seyidna Airport, which is about 40km north of Khartoum in Sudan, in “a daring overnight operation” on 27-28 April.
The C-17, in turn, took off from Hindon Air Force Base in the night between Wednesday and Thursday. The plane flew through the night to land early in the morning in Jeddah. “Excess fuel was needed in Jeddah to avoid a fuel shortage and delays in Sudan,” an IAF official said.
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“The mission was one of a kind, with the aircraft mainly carrying women, children and elderly people, who were NRIs, foreign nationals or OCIs (Overseas Citizens of India). They were not allowed to land in Jeddah, and therefore were required to be flown directly to India with a non-stop flight by heavy jet,” he added.
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In Sudan, the aircraft made “a tactical steep-overhead arrival followed by an assault approach” to land at the airport. During the entire time on the ground, the plane’s engines were kept running for a quick exit, the officer said.
“The crew experienced another unplanned emergency when one of the passengers was knocked unconscious during the flight. The situation was handled competently by the crew who gave him 100% oxygen to stabilize him. The aircraft is landed in Ahmedabad late Thursday evening,” he said. added.