Aero India 2019 began on Wednesday without the participation of the IAF’s Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team and tributes by flying squadrons to the pilot who lost his life in a mid-air collision between two aircraft yesterday.
Three Indian Air Force (IAF) Su-30MKI aircraft flew the missing man formation as a tribute to Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi who died in a crash involving two Surya Kiran aircraft over Yelhanka on Tuesday.
Gandhi was part of the Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team rehearsing for the show when his aircraft collided with another Surya Kiran Hawk 132 aircraft.
The other two pilots, Wing Commander Vijay Shelke and Squadron Leader Tejeshwar Singh, managed to eject to safety. Both suffered injuries and were immediately shifted to the Command Hospital for treatment.
On Thursday, the Surya Kiran aircraft were seen standing on the runway behind the inaugural venue of Aero India 2019 with their canopies covered.
Paying homage to the pilot, the Rafale combat aircraft flew at a low speed at the Air Show.
The Sarang, the helicopter aerobatic team of the IAF, ends its show with split manoeuvre after saluting Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The Dakota, Douglas DC – 3, did a fly-past in Bengaluru.
The indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) paid homage to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) statesman gave it the name ‘Tejas’.
The Surya Kiran aircraft, part of the 52nd Squadron of the IAF, were rehearsing for the acrobatic display when they collided into each other.
The debris from the aircraft fell on the ISRO layout in Yelhanka but there was no casualty on the ground. Reports quoting Bengaluru police said that one person was injured.
The 12th edition of Aero India 2019, the International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition, began from 20 to 24 February 2019 at Yelahanka.
Among the highlights of the display will be aerial display of LCA Tejas by the 45th Squadron and flight display Airborne Early Warning & Control System (AEW&C), a display by Rafale fighter jets and a battery of US military aircraft, including the F/A-18 Super Hornet and the B-52 Stratofortress.