Ghanaians from all walks of life yesterday toured various military garrisons across the country, to mark the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) annual open day.
The annual event dubbed “Open Day” was aimed at fostering co-operation between the military and the citizenry, and a majority of the civilian population included students, church groups, individuals and women groups.
At the Air Force Base in Accra, flight MI-17 took off at exactly 6:00 am with more than 40 civilians gaining an altitude ranging from 700 to 1500 feet, above sea level.
Some of the helicopters on display were two MI-17s with a capacity of 42, a Z-9 with a capacity of 10 and the old Presidential jet, the Fokker 28 (G530), with more than 40-seater capacity among others.
At take-off, children, who were flying for the first time, panicked, screamed and were visibly shaking.
Sharing their experiences, some expressed fear while others were joyful.
A seven-year old child, Ishmael Agyei, said despite the panic at the take-off, the rest of the flight was enjoyable, and others urged the GAF to extend the trip duration.
Touring the facilities at GAF, the students were taken through the daily operations at the base, a gallery of pictures showing training sessions of personnel from GAF and the display of some military equipment.
A Fixed Wing Pilot, Flight Lieutenant Ama Serwah, said patronage of the flight demonstration started in the early hours of the day, as participants wanted to have an experience of the flights.
She said, aside the flight demonstration and facility touring, the event was also used to inspire students to pursue a career in the military.
Flt Lt Serwah announced that the Air Force Base was opened to the public on Thursdays, and urged all to visit the place.
BY ALLIA NOSHIE AND FREDERICK GADESE-MENSAH