One Indian Air Force pilot lost his life and two other pilots were injured on Feb 19 after two IAF Suryakiran planes crashed during rehearsals for the Aero Indian 2019 air show slated to begin at Yelahanka, Bengaluru on Feb 20. No civilians were hurt and the subsequent fire has been contained
One pilot has been killed after two aircraft of the India Air Force’s Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team crashed after a mid-air collision while rehearsing near the Yelahanka airbase in Bengaluru, Karnataka on Tuesday, February 19, the Defence PRO has confirmed. The rehearsals were for the ‘Aero India 2019’ air show slated to begin at Yelahanka on Wednesday, February 20.
“Today morning at around 1150 hrs, two Hawk aircraft of Suryakiran aerobatic team of IAF crashed while practicing for the forthcoming Aero India Air Show. Three pilots were occupants. Two pilots ejected and have been evacuated to the Command Hospital. Third pilot sustained fatal injuries. Damage to life and property in the vicinity of crash site is being ascertained. A Court of Inquiry will investigate the cause of the accident,” said the statement by the Defence PRO.
The crash occurred on the outskirts of the air base in an open field.
Viewers watching the rehearsals caught the crash on camera. One video can be seen below:
“Visited the #SuryakiranAirCrash 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,” said Karnataka Director General of Police and chief of Fire and Emergency Services MN Reddi.
Air Force sources at the Aero India show told The Lede that Wing Commander Vijay Shelke and Wing Commander Tejeshwar Singh had successfully ejected but sustained injuries. The Indian Air Force will not release the name of the deceased pilot until after his family has been informed.
The five-day biennial Aero India expo is expected to begin tomorrow at Yelahanka base on the northern outskirts of Bengaluru. Allaying fears over Asia’s premier air show being shifted from Bengaluru, the Defence Ministry had roped in the Civil Aviation Ministry and the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd to host the 12th edition of the expo to showcase latest technologies and products by global aerospace majors, with aerial and static displays of their aircraft, including fighters, helicopters, transport aircraft and passenger jets.
(With agency inputs)