IAF’’s Surya Kiran pilot killed in air crash in Karnataka

January 21st, 2009 - 11:18 pm ICT by ANI  

Bidar (Karnataka), Jan.21 (ANI): An Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter pilot was killed on Wednesday morning after a Kiran trainer aircraft crashed during a training sortie in Karnatakas Bidar district here.
The pilot, identified as Wg Cdr R. S. Dhaliwal belonged to the acclaimed Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team (SKAT).
Dhaliwal had joined the SKAT only recently and was on the indigenous Kiran Mk II (HPT-16) trainer aircraft in a routine sortie, when the accident occurred at 8.45 hours, said sources in the Indian Air Force.
The aircraft, which took off from Karnatakas Bidar district, crashed a few minutes later at a vacant plot near the Air Force station. No loss of civilian life or property has been reported.
The latest tragic incident is the second fatal air mishap that involves the Surya Kiran pilots in last three years. The last time such an incident took place in March 2006 at the same air base in which two pilots were killed.
To be a member of SKAT, a fighter pilot should be a Qualified Flying Instructor and clocked at least 2,000 hours of flying, of which about 1,000 hours should be on Kiran Mk II aircraft.
The IAF counts SKAT among its fighter squadrons (No. 52 Squadron), as the sub-sonic Kiran trainers can be used in a bomber role. (ANI)

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