The IDF grounded its transport helicopter fleet after one of the aircraft was
forced to carry out an emergency landing near the Tel Nof Air Force Base south
of Tel Aviv on Wednesday night.
“A technical issue arose during the
flight, and the helicopter landed in an open field,” the IDF Spokesman’s Office
said. “The helicopter and crew are unharmed,” it added.
fault occurred as the helicopter, a Sikorsky CH 53 (“Yasur”), took part in a
training flight, with three crew members on board. The aircraft, which only had
flight crew on it, experienced trouble in its rotor system, forcing an unplanned
landing. A technical team is investigating the fault.
In line with
standard procedure, OC Air Force Maj.-Gen.
Amir Eshel grounded all
aircraft of the same type to ensure that the fault is not linked to the general
design of the helicopter.
“We will keep the helicopters grounded until
the cause of the fault in the motor components has been identified,” the air
Last month, an F-16 fighter jet carrying out a midair
refueling exercise with a Boeing 707 refueler was forced to carry out an
emergency landing. The unscheduled landing occurred after the refueling pipe
disintegrated in the midst of the drill.
Last May, an air force Blackhawk
combat helicopter carrying the head of the IDF’s Ground Forces, Maj.-Gen. Sami
Turgeman, carried out an emergency landing after the motor blades struck a bird.