Pilot dies in mid-air clash of Kfirs

Wednesday, 2 March 2011 01:04 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

One fighter pilot of the two Sri Lanka Air Force Kfir fighter jets that collided in mid-air during a fly past rehearsal has died.

One of the pilots, Flight Lieutenant Monath Perera has succumbed to his injuries while the other, Squadron Leader Vajira Jayakody who managed to eject himself from the aircraft, has survived.

The Israeli-built Kfir fighter jets were rehearsing a manoeuvre for an air show at the 60th Anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lanka Air Force that is to begin on Wednesday when they collided in mid-air and crashed at Nelligahamula, Warana in the Gampaha area this morning.

Upon hearing the incident, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has immediately visited the crash site.

Further investigations into the incident are being conducted.

An Air Force announcement on the event says during the mega celebration the Air Force would “exhibit its adventurous feats such as Air operations and rescue operations in the sky to delight the spectators”.

Celebrations are to begin tomorrow and continue until 10 March at the Ratmalana Air Force Base.