Pune: trainee pilot killed in crash

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Pune:  A Pune trainee pilot was killed when his aircraft crashed in the hills of Chhindwara near the Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh border, officials said on Wednesday.

Sohel Zahiruddin Ansari, 19, had taken off along with a pilot in a small Diamond DA-40 aircraft on a three-hour training flight from Birsi Airport in Gondia in eastern Maharashtra on Tuesday afternoon.

"The flight took off around 12.30 p.m. and was scheduled to return by 3.30 p.m.. But an hour into the air, it lost all ground contact and was reported missing," an official from Gondia police control told IANS.

On Wednesday morning, some villagers in Chhindwara district in Madhya Pradesh reported sighting the debris of the aircraft in the nearby hills and alerted police and district officials.

Police officer B.C. Jharia said he was leading a search party to trace the remains of the aircraft and retrieve the body of Ansari.

Ansari was reportedly a student of the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy, Uttar Pradesh.

The cause of the crash is not known.


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