Two India Air Force display team jets collide killing one pilot

The shocking moment two jets from India’s Air Force display team collide causing a horrific crash and killing one pilot

  • Two aerobatic planes collided mid-air over the Yelahanka airbase in Bengaluru
  • One pilot was killed while another two ejected from jets and taken to hospital
  • Videos posted online showed the moment they collided in the air and crashed 
  • Two pilots seen landing in field while planes crashed in tarmac area near town 

One pilot has died died and and two were injured when two Hawk military display jets collided in mid-air while practising in India on Tuesday. 

Two Indian Air Force jets crashed in India during a rehearsal session for an upcoming air show.

The Hawk jets from the Suryakiran Aerobatic Team were seen spinning out of control before the nose of one plane clipped the tail of the other as they moved in the same direction while upside down.

The accident happened at around 11.50am today over the Yelahanka airbase in north Bengaluru in southern India ahead the Aero India show that opens in the city tomorrow.

Indian officials inspecting the crash site of a Hawk aircraft of ‘Suryakiran’ aerobatic team belonging to the Indian Air Force after it crashed at the outskirts of Yelahanka air base

The moment the two planes came collided in mid-air while practising for a show over the Yelahanka airbase in Bengaluru, India

One of the three pilots died, while the two others ejected and were taken to hospital, with one of the men suffering two broken legs, NDTV reports. 

A civilian was also injured by falling debris as the stricken planes landed near a residential area.  

Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi was named by local media as the man killed in the crash, with the two other pilots of team 2IC Wing Commander Vijay Shelke and Squadron Leader Tejeshwar Singh, according to TNM news website. 

It’s unclear if the third pilot was able to eject or whether his parachute opened successfully. 

Video posted online showed the moment the jets collided and two figures ejecting from their aircraft. 

Firefighters and security officers secure the area by the wreckage next to a residential building after two Indian Air Force planes of the Suryakiran aerobatic team collided mid-air

The planes crashed after the pilots ejected near some trees in a residential area in the town of Yelahanka today


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One clip showed a pilot after he landed in a field, lying on his parachute which was stretched across the ground, with blood over his face. 

A local held the pilots hand to comfort him as others tried give him medical attention. 

Footage showed both planes crashed on a tarmac area near some trees with flaming wreckage in a residential area of Yelahanka town. 

A man could be heard saying as the jets crashed into a field, ‘oh my god, oh my god’.  

Surya Kiran aircraft are twin-seated, but often are flown with just one pilot. During today’s crash one was being piloted by one man and the other had two on-board. 

MN Reddi, Director General of Police, Fire Services, told news agency PTI: ‘There were three pilots, one has died. Two are safe with injuries’. 

The Indian Air Force has ordered an investigation and said at this stage the cause of the accident is not known. 

Witnesses saw the moment the jets collided mid-air before crashing to the ground as two pilots ejected from the aircraft 

A pilot was killed two were injured and a civilian was hurt by falling debris after the Suryakiran aerobatic team jets collided over the Yelahanka airbase

Suryakiran aircrafts flying in formation over the Yelahanka Air Force Station during rehearsals in Bangalore yesterday 

A statement by IAF said, ‘Today morning at around 1150 hrs, two Hawk aircraft of Surya Kiran aerobatic team of IAF crashed while practicing for the forthcoming Aero India Air Show. 

‘Three pilots were occupants. Two pilots ejected and have been evacuated to the Command Hospital. 

‘Third pilot sustained fatal injuries. Damage to life and property in the vicinity of crash site is being ascertained. A Court of Inquiry will investigate the cause of the accident.’ 

Exactly four years ago to the day two jets from a team called the Flying Bulls collided over the same airbase during the air show, but on that occasion both pilots escaped without serious injury, the Times of India reports.

Tuesday’s accident is the second deadly crash in the region this month. The Indian Air Force has suffered regular crashes in recent years as it upgrades its ageing Soviet-era fleet.

Two pilots were killed after their jet crashed near Bangalore on February 1.

India is investing billions of dollars modernising its air force to compete with China.

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