The two combat aircraft of the Indian Air Force flew at low speed making a 'Missing Man' formation to pay its tribute to Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi who lost his life on Tuesday as two Surya Kiran aircraft suffered a mid-air collision during the rehearsals.
Wing Commander Gandhi succumbed to injuries as two aircraft of the Indian Air Force's aerobatic team Surya Kiran collided and instantly burst into flames. The tragedy occurred at the Yelahanka air base where the pilots were trying a mirror maneuver.
The Indian Air Force in its tribute today, gave a 'missing man' formation. The three fighter planes - Tejas, Jaguar and Su-30 flew past with an empty space for the leader. The missing formation was followed by a slow pass by Rafale, as a salute to Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi. The missing man formation (sometimes flyby or flypast) is an aerial salute performed as part of a flypast of aircraft at a funeral or memorial event, typically in memory of a fallen pilot, a well-known military service member or veteran, or a well-known political figure.
#MissingMan formation was flown, today, led by Su-30MKI at Yelahanka as a tribute to Wg Cdr Sahil Gandhi, who was martyred during a rehearsal sortie on 19 Feb 19. Followed by a slow speed pass by #Rafale, as a salute to #Braveheart.— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) February 20, 2019
'You will be missed, blue skies to you always' pic.twitter.com/5ofzzb1Ofx
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was also present as the air show Aero India 2019 began in Bengaluru today.
Smt @nsitharaman does a walkthrough across various pavilions at #AeroIndia2019 in Bengaluru and takes a look at the exhibits put up by various Indian and International participants. #AeroIndiaBegins pic.twitter.com/Wni8sW00Hg— Raksha Mantri (@DefenceMinIndia) February 20, 2019
The star attraction of the Aero India 2019, however, was the display of Rafale jets. The fighter jets flying through supersonic speed enthralled the audience.
Watch how rafale mesmerised the audience
Guess what!— Aero India 2019 (@AeroIndiashow) February 20, 2019
Yes! It's Rafale
Piercing through the sky with supersonic speed.
Spectacular! Thrilling! Electrifying! @IAF_MCC @drajaykumar_ias @nsitharaman @DrSubhashMoS @DDChandanaNews @DDNational @Indian_Embassy @ANI @SpokespersonMoD @DefenceMinIndia @sureshpprabhu pic.twitter.com/1nDy1Jt55P