IAF Yasour 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy: IDF)
The Israel Air Force will return to Romania for joint maneuvers later this summer, a year after six of its servicemen were killed in a helicopter crash in the Carpathian Mountains.
Six IAF servicemen – pilots and technical crew – were killed when a Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion, called Yasour in the IAF, crashed into a mountain during a military exercise in which crews were trained to fly at low altitudes. A Romanian military officer observing the IAF crew aboard the helicopter was also killed.
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Peres, Nehushtan attend crash memorial in Romania
An IAF inquiry concluded that the accident was most likely the result of human error.
The IAF has not deployed in Romania since the accident and sources said on Tuesday that IAF C-130 Hercules transport aircraft will fly there for joint maneuvers in August.
IAF commander Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan is also scheduled to fly to
Romania later this year for a joint memorial service for the servicemen.
The IAF is interested in continuing to train in Romania, and
particularly in the Carpathian Mountains, which are known for unstable
weather as well as thick forests and high mountains, terrain that
Israeli pilots do not get to frequently train in. It is similar to what
the IAF could encounter in future operations.
In 2006, then-defense minister Shaul Mofaz signed a five-year agreement
with his Romanian counterpart formalizing ties and enabling the IAF to
deploy aircraft and soldiers for training in Romania.