Pilot killed as two IAF jets collide in Bengaluru during Aero India rehearsal

Feb 19, 2019

BENGALURU, Feb 19: A pilot was killed today when two Indian Air Force Surya Kiran jets performing aerobatics collided mid-air during a rehearsal for the five-day Aero India 2019 show opening here on Wednesday.

The Hawk jets caught fire and burst into flames. The mishap took place in Yelahanka airbase. Two pilots are admitted to hospital with injuries. The planes were flying one above the other in a manoeuvre. They crashed into a residential area but at a deserted place. The incident occurred at 11:50 am.

The planes had three pilots. Wg Cdr VT Shelke and Sqn Ldr TJ Singh ejected while Wg Cdr Sahil Gandhi was killed.

Defence Minister Sitharaman was scheduled to inaugurate the biennial event organised by her Ministry on Wednesday. Surya Kiran performs breathtaking manoeuvres. The aerobatic squadron is a regular highlight of the aero show. Bengaluru has been the venue since the Aero India started in 1996. Visitors throng the place to watch the show as also business representatives from abroad.

Earlier, a Mirage-2000 trainer aircraft of the IAF had crashed at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited airport here on February 1, killing two pilots.

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