Surya Kiran forms 'incomplete diamond' as a tribute to pilot killed in crash
Bengaluru, Feb 23: Indian Air Force's Surya Kiran aerobatic team Saturday flew as an incomplete diamond formation with Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi's place vacant as a tribute to him at Aero India 2019.
Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi died in mid-air collision between two Hawk trainer jets of Surya Kiran aerobatic team on 19 Feb while rehearsing a day before the inauguration of Aero India 2019 show.
This is how complete diamond formation looks like:
The #Diamond will soon be back over the skies of #Bengaluru after a hiatus of 8 years. The #Suryakiran are all set to showcase jaw dropping aerobatics from 20-24 Feb at @AeroIndiashow #yelhanka— Suryakiran Aerobatic Team (@Suryakiran_IAF) February 11, 2019
9 days to go. pic.twitter.com/7MOI63VbIo
Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi was cremated with full state honours on Thursday in Hisar. People from all walks of life came in to pay tribute to the slain pilot as friends and strangers alike rallied behind the family in the hour of grief. The entire district administration including the deputy commissioner, superintendent of police, inspector general of police, sitting MP and MLA, senior Air Force officials laid a wreath as Gandhi was laid to rest.
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.