Two BAe Hawk Mk 132 trainer jets of the Indian Air Force’s Suryakiran Aerobatic Team collided mid-air in Bengaluru a day before the Aero India show begins in the city. The two jets crashed while rehearsing at the Yelahanka Airbase in Bengaluru.
One of the three pilots
The accident took place at around 11:50 am during a rehearsal session at the Yelahanka airbase in north Bengaluru. ahead of the mega show.
DGP Fire Services M N Reddi said, “one pilot has succumbed to injuries in the Surya Kiran jet crash and other two are safe,”
According to Bengaluru Police, one civilian has been hurt, both pilots have ejected, and the debris has fallen near ISRO layout, Yelahanka new town area.
“There were three pilots, one has died. Two are safe with
injuries,” MN Reddi, Director General of Police, Fire Services, told news agency PTI.
A video showed the two Hawk jets crashing down, while performing a complex manoeuvre. Another video showed thick, black plumes of smoke rising from the airbase.
“Oh my god, oh my god,” a man can be heard saying as the jets crashed into a bushy area in Yelahanka’s ISRO Layout, a residential area. The area near the burning jets has been cordoned off by the police.
Aero India 2019 will be held between February 20 and 24. The stunning formations by the Suryakirans, the Air Force’s dare-devil aerobatic squadron is a regular highlight of the aero show.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is in Bengaluru, is rushing to the Yelahanka airbase. “I’m aware of it (incident),” she said, but did not elaborate further.
The MiG-27 crash comes on the backdrop of three recent crashes of IAF jets
A Mirage -2000 fighter jet which crashed at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) airport in Bengaluru on February 1 in which two pilots- Squadron Leader Siddharth Negi(31) and Squadron Leader Sameer Abrol(33) died, and another one on January 28, when a Jaguar fighter jet of the IAF crashed near Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh.
The Jaguar aircraft was on a routine sortie and had taken off from Gorakhpur Air Force Station. The pilot had ejected to safety. Meanwhile, in September last year, another MiG-27 aircraft had crashed near Jodhpur, Rajasthan, when it was on a routine sortie. The pilot had ejected to safety and no loss of life was reported.
A MiG-27 fighter jet of the Air Force crashed during a training mission in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer. The pilot ejected safely above the Pokhran range.