A technical failure was the probable cause of a deadly Cobra helicopter crash
earlier this month, the IDF announced on Thursday, following the release of
intermediate results of an investigation.
Pilots Lt.-Col. (res.) Noam
Ron, 49, and Maj. (res.) Erez Flekser, 31, were killed when their aircraft
crashed near Gedera in the early morning hours of March 12. The results of the
investigation were presented on Thursday to the bereaved families. Beforehand,
they were shown to IAF chief Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel.
After the crash, Eshel
grounded all Cobra helicopters pending the result of the investigation. They
remain grounded for the time being.
“Investigating teams are continuing
their work until they complete their report,” the IDF said. “The IAF commander
ordered the teams to use all means to clarify, in the most in-depth manner, the
circumstances of the crash.”
An initial investigation pointed to a
catastrophic technical malfunction as a possible cause for the
It also found that the pilots had radioed the Palmahim air base
before the crash, saying they would land there in six minutes, on
There was no distress call.
The Cobra helicopter, known
in Hebrew as the “Tzefa,” was involved in two other fatal crashes in recent