Surya Kiran Aerobatic Jets Collide In India (with Video)

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Photo: India Today

Photo: India Today

One Indian air force pilot was killed after two BAE Hawk aircraft collided midair. The Surya Kiran aerobatics team was preparing for an airshow at Aero India when the accident occurred.

According to reports, Wing Commander VT Shelke and Squadron Leader TJ Singh both ejected, but Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi was killed. The two surviving aircrew were airlifted with unspecified injuries to the Air Force Command Hospital in nearby Bengaluru in southern India.

Eyewitnesses say that the two jets, one with a solo pilot and the other with a crew of two, were performing a maneuver with the upper airplane inverted and canopy-to-canopy with the lower, flying in the same direction.

The BAE Hawk is a follow-on to the Hawker-Siddeley Hawk jet trainer first flown in the late 1970s. It is still in production by BAE in the U.K. and built under license by Hindustan Aeronautics in India. In addition to the Surya Kiran team, the Hawk is flown by the Royal Air Force's Red Arrows team.

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