Four die as light aircraft crashes in Haifa

Aircraft crashes at Haifa Air Base Technical School; police say pilot had reported technical problems to flight tower, tried to return for emergency landing.

By
April 15, 2011 03:28
1 minute read.
A Piper Cherokee light aircraft

cherokee light aircraft 311. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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Four people were killed on Thursday morning when the light aircraft they were flying in crashed into trees and burst in flames at the Haifa Air Base Technical School.

Three of the victims were named as pilot and flight instructor David Bachor, 65, from Kiryat Yam, and students Mustafa Amin, 37, from Nazareth, and Moshe Bensal, 51, from Zichron Ya’acov. The fourth victim’s family asked that his details not be released.

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Amin leaves behind a wife and two daughters. None of the victims were from the air force.

Magen David Adom spokesman Zachi Heller said rescue personnel found the four bodies scattered outside of the burnt wreckage of the plane. All four were pronounced dead at the scene.

According to police, shortly after takeoff, Bachor reported technical problems to the flight tower and tried to return to make an emergency landing. He lost control of the plane and crashed, hitting tree tops on the way down.

Based on an initial investigation, there was some sort of technical malfunction in the plane’s engine that prevented it from providing enough power to make the landing.

Bachor’s wife, Lilian, broke down when speaking to reporters near the crash site, and through her tears described her husband as a seasoned pilot who never took risks.



“He was an experienced, veteran pilot. If he had the slightest worry he wouldn’t get in the plane. If there was a single bit of wind, any at all, he wouldn’t fly.”

Ilan Bachor said being a pilot was a life-long dream for his brother. “His dream was always to be a pilot. This is a disaster, a total disaster,” he said.

The Piper Cherokee, a four-seat single engine light aircraft, landed near classrooms, but there were no students present at the time due to the Pessah break.

In March, two people were killed when a Cessna 172 plane crashed in an open field in the Galilee.

Back in August, two people were killed in an ultralight crash near Rehovot.

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