The breathtaking aero show has come to an end.
Bangalore has been witnessing these winged beauties for several years now and this aero show is one of the biggest of such events in Asia.
While thousands of people watched in awe and amazement at the manoeuvers of the pilots and their agility, little did they realise that there is only a fraction of a second or even less between life and death.
Once the aircraft goes out of control, there is very little a pilot or even the passengers can do, except pray. Unlike a road transport vehicle or even a railway locomotive, there is no second chance for an aircraft. Moreover, the chances of survival in an air crash is remote and one in a million.
Unfortunately, air accidents have been rather frequent in Karnataka over the last few years.
In the last two decades, there have been eleven major reported air crashes, killing 272 persons.
The first major crash and perhaps the most horrifying was that of the Airbus A320-231 in 1990 in
. The plane, overshot the runway and crashed, killed 92 persons on February 14. The flight, IC-605, had taken off from Bombay at 11:58 a.m., for a flight to Bangalore. At 12:25 p.m., Bangalore ATC was contacted and prevailing weather condition at Bangalore was passed on to the crew of the plane. Bangalore
At 12:44 p.m., the plane was cleared to descend to 11,000 feet and visual approach into runway 9 was cleared. On final approach, the aircraft descended well below the normal approach profile and kept descending until it struck the boundaries of the Karnataka Golf Club, 2,300 feet (700 m) short and 200 feet (61 m) right of the runway.
The aircraft rolled for 80 feet (24 m) and lifted off again for about 230 feet (70 m) and came down again on the 17th green of the golf course. The aircraft crashed over an embankment and came to rest in a grassy, marshy and rocky area of the Challaghatta lake. Tragically, it was Valentine’s day afternoon.
The Mangalore air crash in 2010 killed 158 persons. It was May 22, and the Air India Express Flight 812, a Boeing 737-800, crashed short of
after overshooting the runway with 160 passengers and 6 crew members on board. Mangalore International Airport
A total of 158 people were killed with just 8 survivors; this is the worst ever crash involving the 737-800.
In between there two accidents, nine crashes have occurred, claiming the lives of 22 persons.
On March 6, 2008, a Saras light aircraft crashed near Bidadi, killing three pilots from Aircraft Systems Testing Establishments which is located on Airport road.
The victims were Wing Commander Praveen, Wing Commander Shah and Squadron Leader Ilayaraja. They were on test ride when the plane lost balance, crashed and went up in smoke.
Four pilots travelling in a six-seater Italian Vulcanair aircraft (P68C) died when it crashed on September 8, 2007. The plane belonged to Joy Alukkas, a well-known jeweler of Kerala,
The plane plunged into the Gowdanapalya lake in south
killing three pilots - flying officer Santosh Kumar, Sunil Joseph (37) and Mohammed Shabbeer (27) - on the spot. Co-pilot K Shanmugam died in hospital. Bangalore
The plane had hit a coconut tree and lost one of its wheels before crashing into the lake. The flight had taken off from HAL airport, and was on its way to
in Kerala. Kochi
In February 2007, HAL's Advanced Light Helicopter crashed during a rehearsal ahead of the international air show in
, killing a co-pilot. Bangalore
The air show was temporarily suspended when a training plane-an Intermediate Jet Trainer manufactured by HAL, crashed during taking-off.
On August 19, 2005, four naval officers were killed when a Kamov-28, Indian Navy's submarine hunter helicopter, crashed near
in adverse weather conditions. Six naval personnel were on board the Kamov-28, which was on its way from Goa to Belgaum Vishakhapatnam.
On April 17, 2004, South Indian film actress Soundarya, who hailed from Kolar, and her brother were among four people killed in a helicopter crash.
The helicopter, belonging to Agni aviation, was ferrying Soundarya and others for campaigning during elections to Andhra Pradesh. Soundarya was to campaign for a BJP candidate. The helicopter crashed minutes after it took off from the Jakkur airfield on the Bangalore-Yelahanka road.
The helicopter caught fire and crashed killing Soundarya, her brother Amarnath, pilot Joy Philips and another person Ramesh Sadan. The wreckage of the helicopter was strewn over a dry lake bed.
April 11, 2002 -- An Indian Air Force pilot was killed when the Mig-29 fighter aircraft he was flying crashed and burst into flames in the jungles of Golikoppa in Uttara Kannada district. The aircraft was on a flight from
Goa to Karwar.
Four officers of the Indian Air Force had a narrow escape on July 24, 2001when an Mi-8 helicopter crashed during a training sortie inside the radar station of the IAF situated on Chimney Hills near Hesaraghatta.
All the officers managed to jump out of the helicopter before it crashed.
The MI-8 helicopter was involved in another mishap, but this time it turned out to be fatal for its riders. This happened on March 21, 2001. Five Indian Air Force personnel were killed when a MI-8 IAF trainee helicopter crashed near Chikkajala in
rural district. Bangalore
The helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from the Air Force base in Yelahanka.
These accidents make us realise the high risk that the pilots face when they fly the iron monsters. Well, all we can do is salute these brave souls and pray for those who so tragically lost their lives.