Two Indian Air Force aircraft collided in Bangalore during a rehearsal for the five-day Aero India 2019 show on Tuesday. A pilot died in the accident. The pilots are members of the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT), which was raised in 1996 with Kiran MK-II aircraft.
Three pilots were involved in the mishap, two of whom ejected safely though they got injured.
The visuals showed smoke billowing from the site of the crash. Choppers and emergency vehicles were sent to the site. Search and rescue operations are underway.
"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. The third pilot sustained fatal injuries. Damage to life and property in the vicinity of the crash site is being ascertained. A Court of Inquiry will investigate the cause of the accident," said the IAF.
The aerobatics team of the IAF SKAT is a part of the 52nd Squadron of the IAF.
#WATCH: #Rafale combat aircraft fly at low speed to pay tribute to Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi who lost his life yesterday in a mid-air collision during rehearsal in a Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team's aircraft. pic.twitter.com/OGC3WPPAfM— ANI (@ANI) February 20, 2019
The 12th edition of Aero India is to be held from February 20-24 in Bangalore. As against 72 aircraft in the previous edition in 2017, only 61 aircraft have registered for flying and static display on the tarmac of the air base this time.