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AERO India 2019: One pilot killed, 2 eject safely after 2 Surya Kiran Aerobatics jets crash

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Bengaluru, Feb 19: In a tragic incident, a day before the inauguration of the Aero India 2019 exhibition, one Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot succumbed to injuries after two aircraft of the Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team crashed at the Yelahanka airbase during the rehearsal in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

Surya Kiran Aerobatics aircrafts. PTI file photo

"There were three pilots, one has died, two are safe with injuries," DGP Fire Services M N Reddi who rushed to the spot told PTI. A civilian was also injured in the mishap, police said. "I'm aware of it (incident)," Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, but did not elaborate further when asked about the accident.

Multiple videos of the crash are doing rounds on social media. One video showed the two jets coming down, possibly while performing a complex manoeuvre.

Bengaluru Police says, "One civilian is hurt. Both pilots have ejected, the debris has fallen near ISRO layout, Yelahanka new town area."

The 12th edition of Aero India Show will kick off on February 20th. The latest aircrafts have already landed at Yelahanka Air Force Station to enthrall visitors during 5-day exhibition.

Aero India 2019: Skycats, Dakota heritage plane and Rafale jets to rule the sky

Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team:

The Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) was formed in 1996 and are a part of the 52nd Squadron of the IAF. The team has since performed numerous demonstrations usually with nine aircraft. The squadron was composed of the HAL HJT-16 Kiran Mk.2 military trainer aircraft till 2011 and were based at the Bidar Air Force Station in Karnataka.

The team was suspended in February 2011 and was re-established with Hawk Mk-132 aircraft in 2017.

(With PTI inputs)

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