The Israel Air Force announced the return of its fleet of Cobra combat
helicopters to service on Friday following the completion of an investigation
into what caused a deadly March crash.
Reserve pilots Lt.-Col. (res.)
Noam Ron, 49, and Maj.
(res.) Erez Flekser, 31, were killed when their
aircraft crashed near Gedera, leading IAF chief Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel to ground
Air force investigators said a break in the tail rotor of
the aircraft caused the accident.
The investigation was led by an IAF
colonel who may be identified only as “N.”
The pilots had radioed the
Palmahim air base before the crash, saying they would land there in six minutes,
There was no distress call prior to the accident.
investigation ruled out pilot error or the aircraft’s age as causes.
to the operational importance of the Cobras, the IAF formulated a plan for their
return, which includes technical checks for all helicopters and a change in the
maintenance plan,” the IDF Spokesman’s Office said Friday.
the investigative committee’s findings as well as suggested steps to prevent
risks of similar future occurrences.
The families of the deceased air
crew received updates on the findings, the IDF added.
“We will continue
to accompany the bereaved families,” it said.