Following the tragic accident involving two Surya Kiran aircraft, which resulted in the death of a pilot, the Surya Kiran team will not be participating in Aero India 2019 air show in Bengaluru.
“There was an unfortunate incident this morning and two aircraft collided during a mirror formation. An inquiry has been lodged. All displays except for Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team will continue as listed in the program,” said Air Marshall RKS Bhadauria to the media on Tuesday evening, "In cases like Surya Kiran, the risk factor is high. In this particular incident, the two aircraft were trying a mirror image. One aricraft was just above another in an inverted form. This was in close proximity. In these kinds of instances, it is not good to speculate as to what happened. It could have been operational or may be there were birds or it may have been human error. We have to wait and see what the inquiry reveals.”
Officials further stated that the aircraft were all regularly upgraded and that Mirage 2000 was being upgraded, and to allege that lack of upgrades led to the accident is wrong.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated to the media that the show would go on as planned. “The morale has not been affected at all. If anything, the response the people have shown it has brought in more motivation to fight terror squarely,” she said.
On Tuesday morning, around 11.50 am, the two flights crashed resulting in the death of one pilot during a final rehearsal put together by the Bidar Air Force Station, which was practicing for its final event which was to be held on Wednesday. The wing of one aircraft reportedly hit the other during the rehearsal, which led to the mishap.