‘Israeli’ Air Force Chief Grounds Fleet As Helicopter Crash At Sea Kills Two
By Staff, Agencies
The chief of the Zionist entity’s Air Force, Amikam Norkin, grounded its fleet of AS565 Panther helicopters after one of the aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean on Monday night, killing two of the crew members onboard and injuring a third, the military said.
Norkin also halted all training flights and formed an investigative commission, led by a colonel, to look into the cause of the crash, the Zionist military said.
The fleet will be grounded until further notice, the military added.
The two killed crew members were later named as Lt. Col. Erez Sachyani and Maj. Chen Fogel.
The occupation regime’s military has had problems with other helicopters in recent years and there have been other deadly accidents.
In 2020, it grounded its fleet of Black Hawk helicopters for all non-operational flights after they suffered a number of malfunctions, including a technical failure in mid-air while transporting military chief of staff Aviv Kohavi.
In 2019 and 2020, the military’s aging Yasur heavy transport helicopters had a series of malfunctions. The fleet was grounded for a month after a defect caused one of the aircraft to catch fire mid-flight and make an emergency crash landing.
In 2017, an Apache attack helicopter crashed, killing its pilot and seriously injuring its co-pilot. The military had grounded its Apache fleet earlier that year due to problems unrelated to the crash.
In 2010, a Yasur helicopter crashed during a joint exercise of the ‘Israeli’ Air Force and Romanian Air Force, killing the five people on board. That crash was found to have apparently been caused by human error.
In 1997, two Yasur helicopters collided in the air while en route to locations in the entity’s then so-called security zone along the southern Lebanese border. Seventy-three soldiers were killed in the Zionist occupation regime’s most devastating air disaster.