Hyd crash 4th fatal mishap involving aerobatic teams in 4 yrs
Today's naval aircraft crash in Hyderabad during an air show is the fourth fatal mishap involving aerial display teams in the last four years.india Updated: Mar 03, 2010 17:29 IST
Today's naval aircraft crash in Hyderabad during an air show is the fourth fatal mishap involving aerial display teams in the last four years.
The Indian Air Force operates two aerial display teams -- the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) and the Sarang helicopter display team -- while the Navy has the four-aircraft Sagar Pawan Aerobatic Team (SPAT).
The SKAT and SPAT perform aerobatics with HAL-built HJT 16 Kiran Mk-II aircraft and the Sarang team performs aerial displays using indigenously-built ALH Dhruv choppers.
In today's incident involving the SPAT -- formed in 2003 -- two pilots were killed and seven people were injured on ground when the aircraft crashed into a three-storeyed residential building while flying during the India Aviation show.
The pilots killed in the crash were Commander S K Maurya, who hailed from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Lt Commander Rahul Nair from Delhi.
Captain Surendra Ahuja, founder-member of Sagar Pawan, said both the pilots "were among the best in the Navy and their untimely death is a loss to the nation".
The first fatal accident involving the SKAT, which has been flying since 1996, took place near its home base in Bidar, Karnataka on March 18, 2006 during a training sortie, killing Wing Commander Deeraj Bhatia and Squadron Leader Shailender Singh.