After Crash, Surya Kirans to Not Be Part of Display at Aero India

Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria said all the other displays will go as planned, but Surya Kirans won’t be part of display.

2 min read
After Crash, Surya Kirans to Not Be Part of Display at Aero India

Addressing a press conference, ahead of the inauguration of Aero India 2019, Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria on Tuesday 19 February, has said that Surya Kiran will not be part of the display at Aero India 2019 starting Wednesday.

The decision comes after two IAF jets of the Surya Kiran team crashed mid-air at the Yelahanka Air Force station in Bengaluru on Tuesday, 19 February, in which Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi lost his life while two other pilots were injured.

Speaking at the conference, Bhadauria said, “We have had an unfortunate incident and the investigation will take place. But Surya Kirans won't be part of the display.”

He further added that all the other displays will go as planned earlier.


What is Surya Kiran?

The Surya Kiran is a demonstration of the Indian Air Force usually with nine aircrafts. Till 2011, the squadron consisted of HAL HJT-16 Kiran Mk II military trainer aircraft. The team was suspended in 2011 and was re-established in 2017 with Hawk Mk-132 aircraft.

It was the first time the team was going to perform at Aero India since their suspension. The aircraft collision happened while performing the mirror pass or Calypso pass maneuver – which is where one of the aircraft fly on top of the other but inverted.

Bhadauria also added that the risks in these formations are very high.

“In this particular incident they were doing a mirror image. The margin of error is very low. Whether it was an execution error or a bird that hit will be found out in investigation.”
Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that she will comment on the matter after all details are known to her.

Past Accidents Involving Surya Kiran

  • In 2006, a Surya Kiran aircraft crashed killing two pilots in Bidar during a routine training sortie.
  • In 2007, a HJT-16 Kiran, a military trainer aircraft of Surya Kiran, crash landed inside the Biju Patnaik Airpot.
  • In 2009, Wing Commander RS Dhaliwal died when his aircraft crashed in an open field at Beluga village close to the Air Force Station in Bidar.

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