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Visual from the crash spot
Visual from the crash spot

One Surya Kiran pilot dead,two injured in mid-air collision

ANI | Updated: Feb 19, 2019 17:34 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], Feb 19 (ANI): An ace pilot of the Indian Air Force (IAF) was killed on Tuesday when two Hawk trainer jets of the Surya Kiran aerobatic team crashed mid-air while rehearsing for the Aero India show here.
The five-day air show is scheduled to begin tomorrow and Air Force sources said it would be difficult for the aerobatic team to take part in the event.
“Out of the three aircrew of the two aircraft, Wing Commander  Sahil Gandhi died in the crash, while Wing Commander VT Shelke and Squadron Leader T J Singh have been airlifted to Air Force Command Hospital in Bengaluru. The crash took place at 1150 AM at the show venue at Air Force station Yelahanka,” an Air Force spokesperson said.
While Wg Cdr Shelke and Sdn Ldr Singh managed to bail out, Wg Cdr Gandhi could not, the spokesperson said. The formation was flying at a low altitude.
The IAF also said that damage to life and property in the vicinity of the crash site is being ascertained, and a Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of the accident.
Wg Cdr Gandhi belonged to Hissar in Haryana and is survived by his wife and a 6-year-old son named Riaan.
Karnataka Director General of Police MN Reddi, who visited the crash site, said no civilian was injured following the mishap.
"Visited the Surya Kiran crash site. One IAF pilot has unfortunately lost his life. Two others injured shifted to hospital but said to be out of danger. No injuries to any civilians. No major damage to any houses in ISRO colony. Fire Force has completely suppressed the fire" he tweeted.
The Surya Kiran team has given outstanding performances during air shows in the country and abroad. Set up in 1996, it initially comprised Kiran trainer planes which were later replaced by Hawk jets.