NDP will see woman fighter pilot in '50' formation flypast

NDP will see woman fighter pilot in '50' formation flypast
Major Lee Mei Yi, one of a handful of female fighter pilots in the RSAF, will be the first among them to fly in the fighter jet formation at the National Day Parade (NDP) for the nation’s 50th anniversary.

F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot Lee Mei Yi is slated to make history this year.

She will be the first woman fighter pilot to be flying in the National Day Parade (NDP).

Major (Maj) Lee, who joined the Republic of Singapore Air Force 11 years ago, will be flying the F-16 as part of the "50" formation flypast.

The 30-year-old said that taking part in the parade this year is the culmination of her career, which has seen her go on stints to Australia and India.

"It is a great privilege to be part of the parade," she said.

"This is definitely the biggest honour as it is Singapore's Golden Jubilee."

Maj Lee said the challenges of flying in the formation come about from the close proximity of the aircraft to one another. That said, the training the pilots have undergone would come in handy for any challenge that may arise.


The "50" formation flypast will be part of the largest and most extensive air segment in the parade's history.

As part of the nation's 50th birthday, 50 aircraft of various types will be taking part, said the chairman of the Air Participation Committee, Colonel Francis Ngooi.

Apart from the traditional State Flag flypast, the NDP aerial display will also include a "Five Stars" Tribute flypast as well as a four-minute aerial flypast segment comprising various aircraft.

The "Five Stars" Tribute aerial flypast will be executed by the RSAF Black Knights to remember the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Lieutenant-Colonel Chan Ching Hao, flight lead of the "50" formation, said the team of pilots has trained rigorously so that they can put together an exciting performance for the audience at the Padang.

The 33-year-old said: "We started preparations a year ago to build our team chemistry. We carry out one to two flights a week and have clocked over hundreds of hours of flying.

"We are all looking forward to having a good show at the NDP this year."


F-16 Fighter

F-5 Fighter

F-15SG Fighter

G550 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft

Fokker 50 (FK-50) Maritime patrol aircraft

KC-135 Tanker aircraft

C-130 transport aircraft

S-70B Naval helicopter

AS-332 Super Puma helicopter

AH-64D Apache helicopter

Chinook helicopter

This unprecedented "50" formation that comprises 20 F-16s is part of RSAF's Saluteto-Nation segment.


Six Black Knights perform an aerial bomb-burst, where the planes execute a fanning-out movement.


This flypast is a tribute to remember the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and to signify Singapore's ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.

The RSAF Black Knights will execute this formation during the tribute segment in the Prologue of National Day Parade 2015.


Following the "Criss Cross" manoeuvre, two Black Knights will execute a near-vertical climb


This challenging and exciting manoeuvre will be performed by four Black Knights. The jets will fly with smoke trails over the Padang and Marina Bay.


A solo F-15SG will execute this manoeuvre over the Padang to showcase its precision and agility. This manoeuvre will end with a near-vertical climb.


The finale of the air show will see three F-15SGs executing this move to conclude the aerial display.


This article was first published on June 19, 2015.
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