IAF practices its flyby ahead of Independence Day.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
On the occasion of Independence Day, a special salute during the popular Air Force flyby will be held for residents of southern Israel, the military announced on Tuesday.
“The IAF decided to hold an additional salute for the residents of the Gaza vicinity and southern communities to express the IDF’s appreciation to the residents of the South for their steadfastness and their strength during the recent days of fighting and over the years,” read a statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
The exact hours and exact location of the flyby will be delivered on IDF platforms and the media in the coming hours.
The IAF has been practicing for the flyby in recent days ahead of Independence Day.
Israel’s flyover is one of the most popular parts of the country’s Independence Day celebrations ,with millions of Israelis watching the combat jets, transport aircraft and helicopters fly over the entirety of the country, from the North to the beaches along the coast, to the desert in the South.
The IAF’s acrobatics squadron also carries out maneuvers throughout the event.
Last year, dozens of planes from foreign militaries also joined Israeli F-35, F-16 and F-16I jets, as well as M-346 training planes, during the country’s 70th Independence Day flyover.
IAF Apache helicopters, as well as the CH-53 Sea Stallion and the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, a Boeing 707 refueling aircraft, and C-130 Hercules and C-130J Super Hercules transport planes. The B200 King Air and the Gulfstream V, used primarily for reconnaissance and intelligence missions, also wowed the crowds last year.
The flyover also saw the participation of civilian aircraft, including Arkia’s Boeing 757, Embraer E-Jet, and El Al’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The Israel Police also participated with three H125 Airbus helicopters and three Air Tractor AT-802s belonging to the police’s fire brigade.
Spectators in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Tiberius also witnessed a special parachuting demonstration, with over 100 past and present commanders and combat soldiers jumping from a Super Hercules plane into the Mediterranean Sea and the Kinneret before being picked up by elite Shayetet 13 naval commando forces.
On Tuesday, as IAF’s acrobatics squadron practiced over Tel Aviv, a memorial air-raid siren accidentally sounded in the Kirya Military Headquarters in Tel Aviv.
The siren, which was heard across the city around noon, caused panic to many residents of the city.
“What was the siren? I’m at Montefiori near Azrieli. Everyone went crazy down the stairs here... nothing on the news,” one person wrote in a Facebook group.
The police later said that the “sirens that went off in Tel Aviv were the result of a malfunction.”
Last year, residents of Tel Aviv were shocked to see IAF practice flights over the city without any prior announcement, causing the military to release an official apology “for the panic that was caused.”
The IDF announced that it would release plans for practice flights in the future.
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