Wing Commander Hanumanth Rao Sarathi, who was killed in a plane crash between Sukhoi-30MKI and Mirage-2000 aircraft in Madhya Pradesh, was cremated with full military honours.
The two frontline combat aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed during a training mission in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district on Saturday, resulting in the death of Wing Commander Sarathi while two other pilots ejected safely.
Wrapped in tricolour, the coffin carrying the body of the pilot was brought from Morena to Belagavi for the last rites by a special IAF plane. It was then taken to Sarathi’s home in Ganeshpur.
Various people, including former chief minister B S Yediyurappa and Congress MLA Laxmi Hebbalkar, paid homage to the departed soul by garlanding the body.
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Later in the evening, the mortal remains were consigned to flames with full military honours.
A pall of gloom descended at the residence of Wing Commander Sarathi, an instructor at Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TAC-DE) in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior. The family members and relatives were inconsolable with his untimely demise.
The 35-year-old pilot is survived by his wife, a three-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son.
The IAF officer comes from a defence background. Sarathi’s father Revansiddappa Sarathi is a retired honorary captain and brother Praveen Sarathi is a serving Group Captain.