IDF finds cockpit cover of F-15 that was lost at 30,000 feet

On Monday, the army said the plane's pilot and navigator safely landed after their aircraft after the incident.

January 8, 2019 09:43
2 minute read.

Cockpit cover of IAF F-15 cut off at 30000 feet, January 7, 2018 (IAF)

Cockpit cover of IAF F-15 cut off at 30000 feet, January 7, 2018 (IAF)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The military has recovered the canopy which detached from an F-15 fighter jet at 10,000 meters during a training flight, the IDF said on Tuesday.

The canopy was found Monday night near Hebron and will be transferred to air force technicians who will inspect it as part of their investigation to determine why it suddenly came off mid-flight without any warning last Wednesday.

The pilot, Capt. Y., and the navigator 1st Lt. R., had taken off from the Tel Nof airbase in central Israel and headed south. During the flight the canopy suddenly detached for unknown reasons, leaving the two pilots exposed to severe cold of  -45 °C, violent turbulence and deafening noise.

“At what height are you going to stay at,” a voice is heard in audio recording of the incident released by the Air Force on Monday.

The  sound of the cockpit detaching and subsequent screaming is then heard before Capt. Y. radios the ground controller “coming in for a landing at the nearest base without a canopy. Please confirm.”

The plane’s navigator, 1st Lt. R., then asked the pilot if he was all right, who screams back “Yes, everything is alright,” he replied. The navigator then confirmed that he too was all right. Reducing their speed to 200 knots, they again contacted the tower to inform them that they were heading to the airbase for “an immediate landing” at Nevatim airbase east of Beersheba.

“The air crew in the plane had full control of the incident throughout,” the IDF said in a statement on Monday. The airmen “acted with calm, professionalism and expertise in handling the unusual fault, and brought the plane to a safe landing at the Nevatim Air Force Base.”

Following the incident, IAF commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin ordered a stop to all training flights for the F-15 pending the completion of an investigation.

The IDF said that in the past 40 years there have been three similar failures in F-15 aircraft, but all of them are at a lower altitude.

“This is a very rare incident,” a senior IAF officer told reporters on Monday about the 40-year-old jet, adding “We are already in contact with the American manufacturer to understand the nature of the problem and its source.”

The IAF, which is in contact with Boeing which manufactures the jet, is investigating several possible reasons the canopy detached. According to the senior officer, these include a failure in the pyrotechnic mechanisms of the canopy, a failure in its locking mechanism, or a malfunction in the canopy’s other components.

Most of the IAF’s F-15s were acquired in the second half of the 1970s. A more advanced squadron of F-15s arrived in the 1990s.

The IAF is set to soon place orders on several new aircraft to upgrade its aging squadrons, including a new model of the F-15IA from Boeing.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

May 20, 2019
Israel’s Supreme Court won’t change route of Jerusalem Day flag march