A microlight aircraft crashed in Patiala on Monday, 24 February, in the Army Cantonment area, killing an Indian Air Force pilot and injuring an NCC cadet.
A ‘Pipistrel Virus SW 80’ trainer aircraft crashed soon after taking off from the Patiala Aviation Club airport, killing Group Captain GS Cheema, an IAF spokesperson said.
Group Captain Cheema was on deputation at an NCC unit in Patiala, he said.
He had been imparting training to the cadets of NCC's 3rd Air Squadron at the Air Force Station, the spokesperson added.
In the crash of the two-seater aircraft, an NCC cadet also was injured, he said.
The injured NCC cadet was identified as Vipin Kumar Yadav of Mohindra College, Patiala, the official said.
Punjab CM Condoles Death of Pilot
An inquiry has been ordered by the IAF to ascertain the cause of the accident, the spokesperson said. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, meanwhile, expressed "deep anguish" over the death of the IAF officer in the aircraft crash.
"Singh mourned the demise of Group Captain Cheema in the crash and prayed to the Almighty to give courage to the bereaved family," an official spokesperson said.
“He also prayed for the peace for the departed soul,” the spokesperson added.
The chief minister also wished speedy recovery to the injured NCC cadet, undergoing treatment at the Chandigarh Command Hospital.
(Correction: This copy has been updated to reflect that GS Cheema’s designation is Group Captain and not Wing Commander, as earlier reported by PTI.)