Bengaluru, Feb 24 : Its curtains for the biennial Aero India 2019 air show after spectacular flying display by fighters, helicopters and jet trainers delighted around a lakh visitors at the IAF Yelahanka base, here on Sunday.
Asia's premier air show, however, was a bit low key this time and marred by a fire on Saturday in the air base parking lot that gutted about 300 cars.
An IAF pilot died ahead of the event as two Surya Kiran Hawk jets collided in the air on Tuesday and crashed near the air base while rehearsing for the flying display.
Though the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) did not participate in the flying display on the first three days due to the mishap, seven of its Hawk aircraft roared in the blue sky on Saturday and treated the visitors with its dare devilry and dazzling formations.
Much to the delight of visitors, they participated in the event on Sunday too.
"Surya Kirans received thunderous applause from the people.
We are proud of their return," said Bengaluru IAF Training Command Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief R.K.
Besides French fighter Rafale, F-16 of the US-based Lockheed, homegrown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and IAF's Sukhoi-30, Jaguar and transport aircraft were among the 53 aircraft that participated in the static and flying display at the show.
"An estimated 4 lakh people visited the air show, with 3 lakh footfall on the first four days since Wednesday against 5.4 lakh in the previous edition in February 2017," Defence Production Joint Secretary Amit Sahai said at the valedictory function on the fifth and concluding day.
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, state Chief Secretary T.M.
Vijay Bhasker, state-run aerospace major HAL Chairman and Managing Director R. Madhavan and were present on the occasion.
"This Aero India was special being a runway to new opportunities, as the tagline said.
This edition grew over the years and had a special theme each day this year," Bhadauria said at the grand finale.
As many as 403 exhibitors, including 165 foreign firms took part in the expo, showcasing their technologies and products, while global aerospace majors flew in their aircraft for static and flying display on the tarmac facing the runway.
"In all, 54 countries took part in the expo, while 44 foreign delegations were present for the inaugural event on February 20.
About 500 B2B meetings were held and 50 agreements were signed at the expo," Sahai said.