Two pilots killed in IAF demonstration team crash

Military aircraft accidents/mishaps.
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Unread post20 Mar 2006, 20:16

Two pilots killed in IAF demonstration team crash
Saturday, March 18, 2006 (Bangalore):

Two pilots of Indian Air Force's 'Surya Kiran' aerobatics team were killed when their plane crashed on the outskirts of Bidar in north Karnataka on Saturday.

The mishap occurred when the tail of one plane hit another during the practice, according to initial reports.

The damaged plane crashed into a toor dal field in Naubad on the outskirts of Bidar, about 700 km from Bangalore.

The pilots were identified as Squadron Leader Shailendra Singh and Wing Commander D Bhatia.

Bhatia was an experienced pilot while Singh had joined the team two months ago.

An inquiry had been ordered into the accident, an IAF spokesman said.

IAF's 'Surya Kiran' is rated as one of the best aerobatics formation teams in the world, along with the 'Red Arrows' of the British Royal Air Force and Canada's 'Snow Birds'.

It is based at the IAF station in Bidar.

The squadron primarily comprises indigenously manufactured Kiran MII aircraft.

The team has displayed breathtaking manoeuvres in 500 shows in the country and abroad as well.

The daredevil IAF men operate between 200 and 600 km per hour and fly within a height band of 30 to 1,500 metres. (PTI)

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