IAF: Still no explanation for November plane crash

Last month, flight instructor Itay Zaiden, 42, from Kibbutz Shoval and corporal Lihu Ben-Bassa, 19, from Rishon Lezion, were killed in an aviation accident.

Aircraft crashes near Mishmar HaNegev, Nov. 24, 2020 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Aircraft crashes near Mishmar HaNegev, Nov. 24, 2020
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The tragic Israel Air Force (IAF) plane crash that occurred in November was caused by a loss of control by the pilots, according to new findings following an investigation that was presented on Thursday by Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin.
Flight instructor Major (Res.) Itay Zaiden and Corporal Lihu Ben-Bassa were killed in the crash, and according to the report, "the investigative team cannot indicate at this stage what caused the plane to enter an uncontrolled maneuver."
According to the report, the investigation is looking into two possible explanations: either the plane was taken outside its flight envelope by human error, or the crash was caused by a technical issue with the steering or motor functions.
There were most likely between 10 and 20 seconds between the final output by the plane until it hit the ground. There was no attempt to abandon the plane.
While the investigation into the steering and motor systems has not yet been completed, it has so far found no evidence of technical issues with either system.
The report recommended that rigorous technical tests must be done to the "Snunit" (swallow) planes and their parts before they can be approved to return to regular flights.
Norkin said after receiving the report that he would bring the Snunit planes back gradually, for training flights, after tests were completed.