An Indian Air Force pilot was killed and an NCC cadet injured after a microlight aircraft crashed being used for training crashed in the Army cantonment area in Patiala Monday.
The ‘Pipistrel Virus SW 80’ trainer aircraft of the NCC crashed soon after taking off from the Patiala Aviation Club on Sangrur-Patiala road, killing Group Captain GS Cheema, Patiala SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu said.
“The two-seater aircraft took off from the civil aerodrome strip of the club and crashed in the military area nearby after a few minutes – around 12.50 pm. Group Captain Cheema died and an NCC cadet was injured. Cheema was on deputation at the NCC unit. He had been imparting training to the cadets of NCC’s 3rd Air Squadron at the Air Force Station,” the SSP said.
The injured NCC cadet was identified as Vipin Kumar Yadav of Mohindra College, Patiala, an IAF spokesperson said. He has been shifted to Command Hospital, Chandimandir in Panchkula. He has received serious spinal cord injuries.
Cheema, a veteran MIG 21 pilot had also flown AN32 transport aircraft for the IAF for a long time.
An inquiry has been ordered by the IAF to ascertain the cause of the accident, the spokesperson said.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh expressed “deep anguish” over incident. “The CM mourned the demise of Group Captain Cheema in the crash and prayed to the almighty to give courage to the bereaved family,” an official spokesperson said.
The chief minister also wished speedy recovery to the injured NCC cadet.
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