A pilot was killed on Tuesday after two aircraft of the Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team of the Indian Air Force crashed at the Yelahanka airbase in Bengaluru, during the rehearsal session for Aero India 2019 show, ANI reported.
Director General of Police (Fire Services) MN Reddi told PTI that while one pilot succumbed to the injuries in the crash, two others are safe. The Bengaluru Police had earlier said that a civilian was hurt in the accident. The police have cordoned off the area near the burning jets.
The aerobatic team flew in complete formation on Monday and all parameters of the flights were reported to be normal, The Times of India reported. The team once again took off for morning sorties on Tuesday when the two aircraft reportedly collided with each other.
Aero India 2019 will be held between February 20 and 24.
“Today morning around 11.50 two Hawk aircraft of Surya kiran Aerobatic Display Team crashed close to Yelahanka Air Force Base,” the IAF said in a statement. The injured pilots were taken to the Command Hospital and are currently out of danger. “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,” the IAF said, according to The Hindu.
“We were watching the manoeuvre,” Chetan, an eyewitness, told PTI. “The aircraft took off and after some time, they brushed against each other and crashed. We heard a loud noise.” Around 100-150 people rushed to the site and tried to help the injured pilots, he added.
Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is currently in Bengaluru, is on her way to the accident site, NDTV reported. “I am aware of it [the incident],” she told reporters, but did not elaborate.
On February 1, two pilots were killed after a Mirage 2000 trainer fighter aircraft crashed near the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited airport in Bengaluru.