Shadow casted at the 12th edition of Aero India, as pilot dies in crash during rehearsal

Shadow casted at the 12th edition of Aero India, as pilot dies in crash during rehearsal
Highlights

On Tuesday during a practice sortie for the 12th edition of Aero India, two Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team aircrafts had collided midair and crashed

BENGALURU: On Tuesday during a practice sortie for the 12th edition of Aero India, two Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team aircrafts had collided mid-air and crashed.

Unfortunately, the Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi had died at the crash site. Wing Commander Vijay Shelke and Squadron Leader Tejeshwar Singh are currently undergoing treatment at the Command Hospital.

The planes crashed around 11:50 AM near Isro Layout in Nagenahalli, a source had said that, “Singh has fractures to both legs and was operated upon. Vijay, who has relatively minor injuries, is undergoing scans.”

The body of Gandhi did not reach the hospital until Tuesday. Sources said an autopsy will be performed as soon as it reaches the hospital and the remains will be handed over to the family members according to the procedure.

An IAF spokesperson said in a statement, “Damage to life and property in the vicinity of the crash site is being ascertained by officials.”

The two aircraft were performing a close spin-and-cross manoeuvre, while the other aircraft was engaged in a separate formation closeby. Gandhi was flying solo, and could not eject immediately as the nose of the aircraft was damaged, and thereby, complete lost control, sources said.

“When you operate nine aircraft in an aerobatic display team, there are risks. They must operate very close to each other and the margin for error is low. It is an issue of skill building over time and risk factor, which is balanced with safety. In this incident, they were performing a mirror manoeuvre, which is very risky. We aren’t sure what exactly happened,” Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria, IAF Training Command chief, said.

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