Bangalore: Ratan Tata, chairman of India’s Tata group and an experienced pilot, was exhilarated after flying an F-16 fighter jet at an airshow on Thursday, a spokesman said.
The 69-year-old Tata, licenced to fly jets and helicopters, was invited by U.S. defence contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. to fly the combat plane at the show in southern Indian city of Bangalore.
“He said it was an exhilarating experience, that he was very excited and would do it again if he were given another opportunity,” the spokesman said.
Tata, who occasionally flies the company plane, flew as a co-pilot and took over the controls during the half-hour flight in brilliant sunshine.
On landing, he was greeted by Lockheed officials, competing for a multi-billion dollar defence order in India. They presented Tata with a miniature replica of the F-16, a spokesman for the Tata group said.
U.S. aircraft maker Boeing Co. has invited Tata to fly its F-18 Hornet fighter aircraft on Friday, the spokesman said, adding Tata had not yet accepted the offer.
Tata was most recently in the news for snapping up Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus for $12 billion.