Sri Lanka air force jets crash during air show rehearsalBy DPA, IANS
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
COLOMBO - Two fighter jets crashed on the outskirts of Sri Lanka’s capital Tuesday after a mid-air collision during rehearsal for an air force celebration, the military said.
One of the pilots was killed in the crash in the Yakkala area, 30 km east of the capital, a spokesman said.
The air force’s 60th anniversary celebration Wednesday was to include aerobatics and skydiving.
Flight Lieutenant M. Perera ejected but his parachute apparently malfunctioned and he was killed. The other pilot ejected to safety, the spokesman said.
At least 12 houses sustained damage while a nearby school which was in class narrowly escaped impact, witness Jayampathi Gamage said.
“The trees within a radius of about 800 metres have been damaged, with the tops of some of the coconut trees being struck off,” he said.
The jets had been used to attack Tamil separatist rebels in the military operations that ended the civil war in May 2009.