Romania: Memorial held for IAF airmen killed last year

Six Israelis and one Romanian soldier were killed when helicopter crashed into the Carpathian Mountains during a training exercise.

September 13, 2011 08:21
1 minute read.
Romania: Memorial held for IAF airmen killed last year

Ido Nehushtan IAF commander 248 88. (photo credit: Channel 2)


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Israel Air Force Sikorsky CH- 53 transport helicopters will return to Romania for training next summer, the IAF announced on Monday after holding a memorial service for the six Israeli airmen who were killed in a helicopter crash there last year.

On Monday, IAF chief Maj.- Gen. Ido Nehushtan led a service together with his Romanian counterpart in memory of the six Israeli airmen and one Romanian soldier who were killed when a helicopter crashed into the Carpathian Mountains during a training exercise in Romania on July 26, 2010.

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An IAF inquiry concluded that the accident was most likely the result of human error.

“Cooperation with Romania is extremely important to us,” Lt.-Col. Y., commander of IAF Squadron 118, said during a ceremony held on Monday at the grave of Romanian pilot Capt. Stefan Dragnea, who died in the accident. “Our partnership has grown since the accident and through the stories and memories we have learned about Stefan and his family.”

Last month, the IAF sent C- 130 Hercules transport aircraft to Romania for training. Exercises in the Carpathian Mountains, which are known for the unstable weather as well as thick forests and high mountains, are of particular interest for the IAF, since Israeli pilots do not get to frequently train in such terrain.

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