Indian Air Force fighter jets paid tribute to Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi, who lost his life in Tuesday’s mid-air crash of two Surya Kiran planes, by flying in a “Missing Man” formation on Wednesday.
The memorial fly-past at Yelahanka, Bengaluru, was led by a Sukhoi-30 fighter, followed by a Jaguar and a Tejas light combat aircraft. “The formation pays tribute to the fallen pilot,” former IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Fali Major told Hindustan Times. “If he was alive, he would have been flying too in the finger four formation,”
The formation is a part of a fly-past by aircraft, performed in order to honour a fallen pilot, veteran or sometimes a politician.
Gandhi, a member of the Surya Kiran aerobatics team, died on Tuesday when two of the nine Hawk Mk 132 aircraft being flown by the team collided mid-air and crashed. The accident occurred during a rehearsal for the biennial Aero India air show’s 2019 edition.