India Air Show Opens With Hope, Tragedy


India Aviation 2010 launched on Wednesday amid high hopes for expanding markets in the region, but the opening day airshow was marred by a crash that killed two pilots. Spectators from more than 100 countries were on the show site in Hyderabad when a Kiran MK-II, a military jet trainer, crashed into a nearby apartment building. Four people in the building were hurt, two seriously. One pilot reportedly ejected but the chute failed to deploy, and the other died in the crash. They were flying with Sea Breeze (Sagar Pawan), a four-ship naval aerobatic team that launched in 2003. A video posted by CNN shows the accident aircraft veering off from the other airplanes, apparently out of control, as they pull up from a maneuver. General aviation manufacturers from the U.S. attending the show include Cessna, which is introducing its Citation Mustang jet there, and Hawker Beechcraft (PDF), which is showing a King Air 350 along with two of its bizjets, the Hawker 750 and Hawker 4000.

Cessna is also showing a Citation CJ2+, a Grand Caravan and a Skyhawk on the static display. “India is a growing market for general aviation,” said Todd Duhnke, Cessna’s director of international sales. “We believe there is potential growth in the area for the entire line of Cessna products as this region continues to embrace the advantages of general aviation.”