The Indian Air Force’s Surya Kiran aerobatics team lost one of its flying champion on the eve of the biennial Aero India air show’s 2019 edition. Two Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team aircraft collided mid-air and crashed. Out of the three Pilots, two survived the mishap and one lost his life.
Squadron Leader Sahil Gandhi, a former Sukhoi-30 pilot, who flew as Surya Kiran 7 in the nine-aircraft aerobatics team, died. Two pilots in the second aircraft – Wing Commander Vijay Shelke and Sq Ldr Tejeshwar Singh somehow managed to eject before the crash.
The two others, who ejected safely, have been injured and taken to the Command Hospital, where Sq Ldr Tejeshwar Singh is being treated for multiple fractures and Wg Cdr Shelke for an eye injury.” “There were three pilots, one has died. Two are safe with injuries,” said MN Reddi, Director General of Police, Fire Services.
According to police and eye witnesses, the Hawk jets were performing an action when one was flying inverted carrying a pilot and the other below it with two pilots moments they hit each other and whirled out of control.
The accident took place at around 11:50 am during a rehearsal session ahead the Aero India show that opens in the city tomorrow.
The video displayed the two Hawk jets spinning out of control shortly after a reported mid-air collision following which two pilots were seen ejecting. It’s unclear if the third pilot was able to eject or whether his parachute opened successfully.
Sitharaman is reserved to inaugurate the five-day biennial event organised by the Ministry of Defence at the Yalahanka air base, north of Bengaluru.
On asking about the mishap the defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said “I’m aware of it (incident)”.On being asked about the further sidelines of the event, he did not elaborated about the accident.
Soon after the mishap, Bengaluru Commissioner of Police T Suneel Kumar said the crash occurred at the ISRO layout and that had minor damage caused to the house nearby whic had no inmates.
“We were watching the manoeuvre. The aircraft took off and after some time, they collided against each other while performing a movement and crashed. We heard a loud noise,” an eyewitness, said.