One pilot was killed in a mid-air collision involving two Surya Kiran aircraft of the Indian Air Force just a day before the start of Aero India 2019.
The pilot, who is yet to be identified, was among three involved in the crash during the rehearsals for Aero India. The other two pilots ejected safely though one of them suffered injuries.
Eyewitnesses saw the aircraft colliding into each other and crashing to the ground near ISRO layout in Yelhanka. A thick plume of smoke was seen rising from near the air force base, which could also be seen from afar, following the crash.
Tragic news. Indian Air Force statement. Today morning around 1150hrs two Hawk aircraft of Surya kiran Aerobatic Display Team crashed close to Yelahanka Air Force Base. Further details are awaited. pic.twitter.com/a10RC0j5cS
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) February 19, 2019
Visuals showed the debris of the aircraft strewn over a wide area near the ISRO layout.
There was no casualty on the ground but Bengaluru police said that one person was injured. He was immediately rushed for medical treatment.
The aircraft, part of the 52nd Squadron of the IAF, were rehearsing for the acrobatic display for Aero India.
This is the second crash involving IAF aircraft in Bengaluru in less than a month.
On 1 February, two pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) lost their lives when their Mirage-2000 fighter jet crashed on the runway of the Yemalur-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) facility.
The two pilots, Squadron Leader Siddhartha Negi and Squadron Leader Samir Abrol, were on a training sortie. Reports say that the crash happened even before they could take-off. Both pilots ejected from the fighter but got engulfed in the flames when the aircraft exploded.
The 12th edition of Aero India 2019, the International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition, will be held from 20 to 24 February 2019 at Yelahanka.