Pilot killed as Sri Lankan fighter jets collide

March 1, 2011 (AFP) – Two Sri Lankan fighter jets collided in mid-air during an aerobatics training exercise on Tuesday, killing one of the pilots. The pilots from both of the Israeli-built Kfir aircraft ejected, but one of them died while being taken to hospital, a government official said.

The crash occurred as the aircraft were training for 60th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lankan air force starting on Wednesday.

Officials said President Mahinda Rajapakse, who was travelling in the area, visited the crash site. The Kfir plane was a key weapon in the Sri Lankan government’s fight against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels who were crushed in May 2009.