Thursday, February 08, 2007

Bangalore: Normal display flying resumed at the Aero India `07 an hour after the indigenously built intermediate trainer (IJT) suffered a mishap while taking off from the Yelahanka airfield here on Thursday afternoon. While the slightly crumpled plane lay on the side of the runway, Grippen fighter aircraft from Sweden took to the air at 4.15 p.m. to perform acrobatics in the sky. It was followed by breathtaking acrobatics by a formation of nine `Suryakiran' aircraft from the Indian Air Force. Eyewitnesses heard a blast as the plane was rolling down the runway forcing the pilot to abort the take-off. The plane skidded to the side amidst a clould of dust even as spectators began running to the crash site. A posse of security personnel rushed around coralling TV camerapersons and escorting them away from the flying area. Soon six fire brigades reached the site and doused any signs of smoke.
The plane lay tilted to the side where a suspected tyre burst had rendered it incapable. A kilometre away lay the wreckage of the Dhruv helicopter which had crashed last week during practice, killing the co-pilot and seriosuly injuring the pilot. Around the tarmac, stood flying crew of aircraft on display, noncahalantly going about their tasks even as crowds milled trying to get a vantage view of the IJT lying askew with its canopy open.
08/02/07 Sandeep Dikshit/The Hindu

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