Tragic end as search party finds remains of pilot

Family find suicide note of Ein Vered man Avner Tshori, 38, who flew off in his ultra-light plane; body found in Arava desert.

By
May 27, 2013 21:00
2 minute read.
Ultra light plane

ultra light plane 311. (photo credit: Channel 10)

A search-and-rescue team on Monday found the remains of an Ein Vered man who flew off in his ultra-light aircraft the previous morning, leaving behind a suicide note found by his family.

Avner Tshori, 38, was found in the morning by a volunteer search-and-rescue team near Kibbutz Yahav in the southern Arava desert by the Jordanian border, while the remains of his aircraft were found a few kilometers inside Jordan. Authorities believe he jumped to his death from the plane while it was high above the ground.

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Tshori, who lived with his parents, flew off in his ultralight without notifying aviation authorities of his flight plan. He had begun taking lessons on the aircraft six months earlier, but did not yet have a license.

Upon discovery of the letter, police and the IDF scrambled to find Tshori – with officers dispatching a helicopter to search the skies – but found no trace of him.

Before he took his life on Sunday, Tshori had worked as a motivational speaker and as a video editor in the years after he was paralyzed from the chest down during a 2003 skydiving accident in California.

In a personal entry on a website for motivational speakers, Tshori opens by asking, “How many dreams can we achieve if we choose to chase after one dream? This is how I’ve chosen to live my life.”

In the entry, Tshori writes of his younger years, when he immersed himself in extreme sports such as base jumping, mountain climbing and skydiving, until 2003, when “a mistake of a single second destroyed all of my dreams – all of the experience and talents that I worked on for years – and left me paralyzed from the chest down.”

Tshori describes in the entry his road to recovery: “What does someone’s life look like after a mistake like this?” he asks. “Today I am completely independent, I race on hand bicycles, work in video editing and develop technological solutions for people with disabilities.”

Tshori writes that he gives lectures on peer pressure for teenagers aged 16 to 18, as well as 90-minute presentations for companies and private parties, to groups of 10 to 50 people.

The entry also includes several videos Tshori recorded of himself: one where he’s racing a hand-pedaled bicycle, one of him skydiving before the accident and one where he shows how he changes the sheets on his bed from a wheelchair. There’s also a video of a male relative talking about Tshori’s recovery.

“It was good that he survived [the accident] but... he’s not what he was before,” says the relative. “He was a champion, a bird man, and now he’s a bird without wings.”


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