Two aircraft of the Surya Kiran aerobatic team of Indian Air Force (IAF) have crashed after colliding mid-air during rehearsals on Tuesday afternoon for the Aero India 2019 defence exhibition. The Defence show is scheduled to start from Wednesday at the Yalahanka air base in Bengaluru.
— Livefist (@livefist) February 19, 2019
Reportedly, the two aircraft belonging to Surya Kiran aerobatic team of the Indian Air Force were practising spin manoeuvres when the accident happened. One of the aircraft was carrying two pilots, while the other aircraft had one pilot. Two pilots were able to eject from the planes, but the third pilot perished in the tragic accident.
This was the manoeuvre. The upper jet (inverted) was flying with a single pilot. The lower one with both seats occupied. pic.twitter.com/YbMJhOVabc
— Angad Singh (@zone5aviation) February 19, 2019
The Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team based at the Bidar Air Force Station in Karnataka was rehearsing their manoeuvres ahead of the 2019 Aero India Show at Yelahanka, Bengaluru. According to reports, two civilians on the ground were also injured in the incident.
The Surya Kiran team comprises of nine BAE Hawk Mk.132 aircraft built by the HAL under license from the BAE. Earlier the aerobatic team used HAL HJT-16 Kiran Mk.2 trainer aircraft, recently it has been upgraded to Hawk Mk-132 advanced trainer jets.
The 12th edition of Aero India 2019, an international aerospace and defence exhibition, will be held from 20-24 February at Yelahanka in Bengaluru. The first edition of the air show was held in 1996. In recent years, Aero India has emerged as one of the world’s most important and largest military aviation exhibitions.