Aero India: IAF honours slain Surya Kiran pilot with 'missing man' formation

The three aircraft formation of Tejas, Jaguar and Su-30 flew past with an empty space for the leader signifying the departure of their comrade.

Published: 20th February 2019 01:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th February 2019 01:55 PM   |  A+A-

The Surya Kiran announced that the team 'lost a buddy' in Sahil, the IAF -- a professional, and the nation -- a hero. (Photo | ANI)

By IANS

BENGALURU: Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets flew in a "missing man" formation at the inauguration of the Aero India 2019 here on Wednesday as a mark of respect to Surya Kiran aerobatics team pilot Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi, who was killed in a mid-air collision a day ago while practicing for the air show.

The three aircraft formation of Tejas, Jaguar and Su-30 flew past with an empty space for the leader signifying the departure of their comrade.

Recovering from the loss, the IAF said that it lost one of the finest display pilots in Gandhi, who was part of the core group of the world renowned aerobatics group.

The "missing man" formation is the way military aviators pay tribute to a fallen pilot. The tradition of missing man formation was started to pay tribute to Charles "speed" Holman, an American stunt pilot, who died in an air crash in the 1930s.

The Surya Kiran announced that the team "lost a buddy" in Sahil, the IAF -- a professional, and the nation -- a hero.

"Flight is the freedom in purest form, to dance with the cloud which will follow the storm... for each of us is created to die and within me I know I was born to fly," said song capturing the spirit of the team.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp