London: A 25-year-old Indian-origin trainee pilot with Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) was killed when his aircraft crashed in a remote field in the West Midlands region of England.
Aj Sandhu, with a fellow RAF student, 21-year-old Cameron James Forster, were both stationed at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire, an elite ‘Top Gun’ style academy 15 miles from the scene when they crashed on Saturday.
Paramedics declared them dead at the scene and RAF released the names of the student pilots on Monday.
“We were very saddened to hear of the deaths of Aj Sandhu and Cam Forster in a civilian flying accident at the weekend.
“They were both exceptionally talented young men in the prime of their lives. The thoughts of everyone at RAF Linton-on-Ouse are with their family and friends at this difficult time,” said Group Captain Ian Laing, the station commander at Royal Air Force Linton-on-Ouse.
Sandhu graduated with a first class degree and Masters in Geoscience from Durham University, was selected from 3,000 cadets to accompany the Lord Lieutenant of London on royal duties throughout 2010, the Evening Standard reported.
While at Durham he was a member of the Northumbria Universities Air Squadron, an RAF Volunteer Reserve unit, and was named best all-round cadet during officer training at RAF College Cranwell.
“Ajvir, you were inspirational. You were one of the most compassionate, determined and focused human beings that I ever had the pleasure to share time with,” one of his friends wrote on Facebook.