IAF helicopter conducts emergency landing due to malfunction

An IDF "Yasur" helicopter conducted an emergency landing in a field in central Israel on Monday evening due to a light technical malfunction, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

A technical team is set to arrive at the site and return the helicopter to operation.

With the IAF’s CH-53 Yasur helicopters nearing the age of 50 - several crashed in the past year - its replacement is the most pressing matter for the Air Force. 

First used by the IAF in 1969, the Yasur is the air force’s primary helicopter used to transport soldiers and equipment and have taken part in a wide variety of missions, including secret operations as well as search and rescue missions.

While the helicopters have been upgraded with new electronic and missile defense systems, the IAF still needs to replace them by 2025.

In November 2019, a Yasur CH-53 helicopter was completely destroyed following a technical malfunction in its engine. The helicopter was one of three en route to a base in southern Israel for a training exercise and was flying at a height of 170 meters when the third aircraft notified the pilots of the fire in the engine.

The helicopter was completely destroyed in the blaze after its engine caught fire following the emergency landing outside the community of Beit Kama in the northern Negev desert. All 11 soldiers from the elite Shaldag commando unit, as well as the two pilots, escaped unhurt.