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Posted On: 25 January 2009 09:50 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Air show at Al Khor draws thousands

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THOUSANDS of aviation enthusiasts thronged an airfield at Al Khor yesterday for the second private air show that began at 9am. Dubbed by the organisers as the ‘Fly-in Open Day at Al Khor Airfield’, the event, that had no formal opening, turned out to be just what had been promised last year: bigger and better. The show was expanded this time with some 13 privately-owned aircraft of various makes and price tags on display. Remote control planes, courtesy of the Qatar Scientific Club (QSC), and paraglider equipment, a first for the event, were also on show. Ahmed Abdul Rahman, who along with his paragliding-enthusiast friend had brought out the massive equipment, put flight plans on hold because of high winds in the morning. In another first, three private planes from a Saudi owner, and one from a Kuwaiti national, were also flown in. But like last year the $7mn Cessna Citation Jet CJ1+ belonging to Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamad al-Thani, who happens to be the chairman of the organising committee of the event, stole the limelight once again. The luxury plane has a maximum cruise speed of 720km/h that offers its leather-seated passengers views from as high as 41,000ft (12,497m). Also ‘strutting’ on the ‘strip’ were a Cessna T182 Skylane, a Cessna Grand Caravan, a Diamond DA-40tdi, a Piper Archer II, a Cirrus SR22 Turbo and a Twin Star. Because of the large number of visitors, registration for a free ride in one of the aircraft ended as early as 11.30am. Many left disappointed. “Going by this, we will have to consider expanding this annual feature to two days next time,” organising committee manager Mohamed al-Mohannadi said. A private pilot licence holder himself, al-Mohannadi explained that the event served to introduce the general public to the broader world of aviation, educate them about history and development of the aviation industry and to get them to know about the Al Khor/Al Thakira region. “We were lucky to get Qatar Airways, Qatar Steel, Qatar Foundation, Qafco, Ras Gas, Civil Aviation Authority, Qatar Aeronautical College and others on board for the event, thus enabling us to expand it,” he added.