Surya Kiran pilot cremated in Haryana with military honours

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Hisar (Haryana), Feb 21 (IANS) Air Force pilot Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi was cremated in Haryana’s Hisar town on Thursday with full military honours.

A large number of people, including Air Force officers and personnel, attended the cremation.

Gandhi died on Tuesday after two Surya Kiran aircraft collided in the air and crashed while rehearsing near the Yelahanka airbase in Bengaluru where the ‘Aero India 2019’ air show began on Wednesday.

His body was brought from Delhi by an Indian Air Force helicopter.

Gandhi, who was commissioned in the IAF in 2004, is survived by his wife Himani and five-year-old son Riyan.

His father, Madan Mohan Gandhi, is a retired bank official, while mother Sudesh Gandhi retired recently as a principal scientist from the Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar.

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“Gandhi sustained fatal injuries while two other aircrew, Wing Commander V.T Shelke and Squadron Leader T.J. Singh, ejected and were airlifted to Air Force Command Hospital in the city,” an IAF statement had said after the crash.

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 dare devilry feats and breath-taking formations in the air.

The two aircraft that were rehearsing for the aerobatic display collided in the air, spiralling down and crashing.

Two pilots were seen ejecting out of the crashing aircraft, and were injured when they landed.

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