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Two Indian Navy Pilots Killed During Airshow

Aircraft Went Down On First Day Of India Aviation 2010

Two Indian Navy pilots were killed Wednesday when the HJT-16 Kiran Mk2 trainer they were flying in an airshow demonstration went down, impacting a building in a residential area near Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad.

The aircraft was part of the Indian Navy's Sagar Pawan precision aerobatic team, which consists of four of the trainers. Witnesses said the aircraft appeared unable to pull out of a dive at the end of a maneuver. The planes were breaking formation before regrouping for the next element of the show.

The show was only 15 minutes old when the accident occurred. The Indian News Service IBN reports that witnesses said the aircraft struck mobile phone towers on top of the building before hitting the structure. Another report in Indian Express says the aircraft hit a water tower on top of the building before falling onto the penthouse.

Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma told reporters in Bhopal that both pilots had died in the crash.  "They did not eject from the plane. Probably there was no time, maybe they tried to ensure that there was no serious damage to civilian area. The fact is they are no more," he said.

There were reports of injuries to several people on the ground, but no fatalities. "Sagar Pawan is our aerobatics team. It was during the last phase of the display that the aircraft went out of control and crashed into a building. What exactly went wrong, we will have to find out," said Verma.

The Sagar Pawan aerobatic team was formed on May 11 2003, on the occasion of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Indian Naval Aviation in Kochi.

FMI: http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NAVY/

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