Aero India 2019 in Bengaluru: Surya Kiran team stays away after death of pilot
20, Feb 2019, 12:02 PM
Bengaluru: Aero India 2019 kick started at the Yelahanka air force station in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the Aero show. Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy highlighted Bengaluru's presence in the design, research and production hub of aerospace and defence in the country.
Several thousand delegates, government planners, exhibitors, corporates, and military brass from across the world were present on the inaugural day of the event.
Minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre, defence secretary Sanjay Mitra, ministers Sadananda Gowda and Suresh Prabhu, secretary defence production Ajay Kumar and DRDO chairman G Satheesh Reddy were also present at the event.
The five-day event began on February 20. The aircraft of the Surya Kiran aerobatics team stood with their canopies covered on the runway behind the inaugural venue. The aircraft are not participating in the show due to the mishap.
Aero India's Surya Kiran jets (two of them) collided mid-air at Yelahanka in Bengaluru, killing one pilot out of three on February 19. Other two have sustained injuries in the incident. The deceased pilot is identified as Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi. The other two pilots are Wing Commander Vijay Shelke and Squadron leader Tejeshwar Singh.