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Two IAF pilots killed in helicopter crash in southern Israel

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Two IAF pilots killed in helicopter crash in southern Israel

Post by gvla on Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:21 am

An Israeli military helicopter crashed overnight Tuesday near Kibbutz Revadim in southern Israel. The two pilots died in the crash.

Lieutenant Colonel Noam Ron, 49, from Oranit and Major Erez Flexer, 31, from Haifa, were reservists on a routine training flight.

At around 1 A.M., the Palmahim air base lost radio contact with the Cobra helicopter that was out on a training mission and was on its way back to the base.

"The two crew members were experienced veteran reservists that had been training for years to stay prepared for combat," a senior air force officer told Haaretz Tuesday morning.

The officer stressed that the "flight mission was routine. The helicopter was on its way to the base in Palmahim."

After radio contact with the helicopter had been lost, the IDF began searching for it, along with the Home Front Command, Israel Police, Border Police and Magen David Adom rescue services.

The craft was eventually found crashed on the ground. The reason for the crash is still unknown.

As far as is known at this stage, the helicopter's crew did not report any malfunctions before the crash. Israel Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel has appointed a team to investigate the incident.

"The remains of the helicopter were discovered and no survivors were found," the IDF said in a statement, adding that it was in the process of identifying the bodies, and that the families of the pilots had been notified of the incident.

This is the second such incident to claim the lives of members of the IAF's Cobra squadron in the past few years. In September 2008, two pilots were killed when their Cobra helicopter crashed in the Jezreel Valley, during a routine training exercise near Kibbutz Ginegar. Shortly after takeoff, the back rotor of one of the squadron's helicopters broke, causing it to crash to the ground. Two crew members, Shai Danor and Yuval Holtzman, died on the spot.

In October last year, Air Force chief Eshel ordered all fighter jets grounded, after a series of near-accidents, including one about three weeks before that, in which planes piloted by senior officers got too close to each other during a training run.

A month before that, the air force's fleet of Yasur helicopters was grounded following a hitch in one chopper during a training flight. The crew noticed a problem with the helicopter's rotor and made an emergency landing in an open field near the Tel Nof air base.

In late July last year, a glitch took place during airborne refueling when a fuel pipe hit the fuselage of an F-16 I fighter jet, causing it light damage, while the in-flight refueling boom was broken. The pilot made an emergency landing at the Ovda air base.


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Re: Two IAF pilots killed in helicopter crash in southern Israel

Post by Mix on Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:58 am

Israelis fly around the clock, it is a miracle that they dont crash more often

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