BENGALURU: In a dazzling display of the undying spirit of warriors, Indian Air Force's Surya Kiran aerobatic team took to the skies Saturday, just days after the tragic mid-air collision which killed a fellow pilot Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi.
Surya Kiran's flew a diamond formation with Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi’s place vacant as a tribute to him.
#AeroIndia2019 : The #SuryaKiran are once again back in the Air at Yelahanka, Bengaluru.
The unbreakable spirit of Airwarriors.
Jai Hind!!!@DefenceMinIndia@AeroIndiashow@SpokespersonMoD pic.twitter.com/dj39ieNS8L
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) February 23, 2019
Following the death of Wing Commander Gandhi, the otherwise nine-aircraft demonstration flew with only seven.
#WATCH IAF's SuryaKiran aerobatic team at #AeroIndia2019 flies in incomplete diamond formation to pay tribute to Wg Cdr Sahil Gandhi, who died on 19 Feb in mid-air collision b/w 2 Hawk trainer jets of SuryaKiran aerobatic team while rehearsing for the show. pic.twitter.com/MTQrPm39ME
— ANI (@ANI) February 23, 2019
Wing Commander Gandhi died after sustaining fatal injuries after two aircraft of IAF's aerobatic team Surya Kiran crashed mid-air on February 19. Two other aircrew members – Wing Commander VT Shelke and Squadron Leader TJ Singh – suffered injuries after being ejected from the aircraft.
The crash occurred around noon on the outskirts of the airbase in the northern part of the city in an open field close to a residential area. The twin aircraft were Hawk advanced jet trainers and part of the nine-aircraft Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) which displays daredevil feats and breath-taking formations in the air.